She twirls in front of me. About five, maybe four. A pink tutu, a leotard and a wand. Her hair is brown and has soft, unorganized curls. I cannot see her face clearly because she is going in circles, but I catch a smile and brown-eyes.
She looks like twirling joy.
I love her already.
We have not met.
I’ve known her since I was little. Throughout my childbearing years I imagined I’d bring her into the my world like Chris, my blond, blue-eyed boy. Through love, labor, or some adopted doorway. I didn’t care the transport that brought him into my arms, because he was alive inside my inner knowingness.
My twirling girl is that way for me. Already announced to my mother-heart. Her doorway from spirit to earth is curious to me, a mystery I can’t wait to live, but when she arrives and how is of no concern to me.
I know her already.
I was around ten when Chris occurred to me. And the twirling girl at the same time. Although they were not a pair but separate in my unexplainable vision.
I owned it loud and clear to whoever happened to listen to my little girl chatter, playmates or my family, who can remember the small details when the subject is so big? What I do remember is what I knew. That these children were mine already and it was just a matter of waiting and living, a matter of fact.
I knew them then as surely as I knew my own skin.
In college, to friends, over and again, I announced their coming. I described them without pause or question.
Every monthly cycle where procreation acts created potential pregnancies, I wondered, are they coming? My boy? My girl? And when I was relieved because timing would have been a challenge, I also had a parallel sense of grief, as though waiting at the dock for a ship carrying precious cargo was once again delayed. I knew dismay along with relief, and it puzzled me.
Chris came on December 8, 1984 in the early morning. After his Dad had left to pick up his seven year old sister Kelly and bring her to the hospital; we sat together, alone in the big double bed in the birthing apartment unit. I held him in my arms, his little face peering up at me, body wrapped up like a little cone of deliciousness.
I whispered to him, “What took you so long, I’ve been waiting.”
I explained to him that I knew him already from when I was little, and that I would love him forever and a day. And I do. And I will.
My years of being able to create new life in my body slipped away. First through my thirties, then my forties, and now I’m smack in the middle of my fifties.
But I’m not worried.
I know she will twirl in front of me one day, pink tutu, wand in hand.
I love her already.
They imprint on our hearts, our children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews, little ones we meet, all the children that come into our lives from one doorway or another. Fresh life touch our mother-hearts, even if we are men or without birth children. Mother-hearts don’t claim gender or lineage but share the ingredients of tenderness, unconditional love and awe.
Some children we know are coming, and others take us by surprise. It doesn’t matter. All we have to do is open wide our arms and hearts.
Welcoming them all home.
It’s grand, this mother-love. It knows how to love what it sees, love what it knows, and love what is yet to come.
Who knows, maybe the growing baby in our girl Kelly’s belly is my curly haired girl.
And I don’t care.
Because I love this baby.
Forever and a day.
I always will.
I already do.