That's how I feel right now. I am feeling both wonderful and completely afraid.
Much of our human experience goes on like this - "I'm so glad I'm getting to do this, but can it be over already?" or "Yes! I am so excited about this opportunity, but I wonder if I really should be the one doing it."
Performers feel this way regularly. I read some words recently from a composer friend whose work is scheduled to appear in a concert amongst other great composers (composers we all study in college), and there it is: the simultaneous feeling of absolute victory and complete terror.
It's enough to leave a person rocking back and forth in the corner.
Human life. That's a big deal, people.
I know about the incredible ability of children to change everything because every day over 200 of them cycle in and out of my classroom. But I've never been the one . . . you know? The person that the child looks at for everything that is important. Food. Clothing. Shelter. Protection. Advice.
Am I qualified for this?
Of course, weeks and weeks ago when I found out about this expectation . . . this advent . . . I thought I ought to write a song about it.
Seemed like a good idea at the time . . .
Even writing about it is complicated.
I realized about halfway through the draft that the song wasn't going to be made of fluffy, sappy, cute rhyming bits of poetry (does that ever happen to me, anyway?).
It had to be about choices.
And it had to be about the process of letting go from day one.
And the idea that a child is something created by God . . . and that the world we live in has been corrupted by people . . . and my child is going to walk this Earth.
What will I teach this kid?
I have to wonder about it.
I also have to stop wondering long enough to do laundry and get to work on time - to meet deadlines and keep appointments and perform in concerts like I'm not tired and sick to my stomach.
Here are a few things I feel like I can count on even though everything else is overwhelming:
1) There's going to be a loving God in this kid's life.
2) There's going to be music in this kid's life.
3) We are going to love this kid no matter who they are. We are going to love them when they mess up big time and when they hurt our feelings. We are going to love them if they are different from us. We are going to love them if they are gay or straight. We are going to love them if they are an athlete or not an athlete. We are going to love them if they are a straight A student or not a straight A student. We will love them when we argue with them. We will love them when they leave their stuff all over the house. We'll love them when they wreck the family car (somebody make me read this again in about 16 years). We will love them like there's no tomorrow.
4) We're going to help this kid however we can. We'll study. We'll practice things. We'll drive them all over creation. We'll save up for them. We'll teach them how to save up. We'll talk and listen. We'll explain the most complicated, terrifying things. We'll mess up and we will still be trying to help them as best we can.
5) We are going to support this kid. That really kind of goes with #3. It helps to have grown up in an open minded spot . . . but I'm telling you - not even knowing who my child is yet - I am ready to support who this child is. And we will be overjoyed about helping them to grow toward dreams we don't know anything about . . . dreams we won't know about for many, many years.
Right now . . . right this second . . . something holy is happening. All life is a blessing. All life is a gift from God. And I know that you might not agree with me all the way (that's ok, we can still be friends) . . . but I really do believe that God already knows who my child is. And God loves them. God understands them. God has been creating them forever - just like you, just like me. It's a miracle.
Peace & Goodness,