Wednesday, April 29, 2009

More from Anne Lamott

So I mentioned in my last letter to the Kernel that I wanted him to make it to the water, like the baby turtles. I decided I wanted to share with you the actual part in the book Operating Instructions: A Journal of My Son's First Year that Anne Lamott writes about this.

December 6

...So often I just sit by him and watch him sleep. I tell him while he sleeps that it's a jungle out there, and you have to be really, really careful or else the eagles will get you, like they got Johnny G. My friend Mary had six cats at one point, until her cat Johnny G. disappeared, and eagles had been seen in the sky that very same day, so of course you could only draw one conclusion. After that she used to warn the other cats to be really careful so that the eagles didn't get them, too. The odds seemed so stacked. Have you ever seen that awful PBS nature movie on baby turtles, where they show you the beach where twenty million turtle eggs are laid and then hatch? Then they show you those twenty million baby turtles trying to race across the sand before the seagulls swoop down and gobble them up. About forty-five baby turtles make it to the water. It makes you shake your head. You double over and have to hold onto your stomach. I say, Please, please, please, God, let Sam make it to the water.

That really is my exact prayer. I have worked my way past being frightened that our little boy won't make it to birth...and now I find myself concerned (although not consumed) by the thought that he might be born with some awful condition that was impossible to determine prior to that point. I guess I have just been too close to too many children who have not made it to the water. And I know that I need to remain hopeful and faithful that our son will be as healthy as a clam...but I would be lying if I didn't say I was a little bit nervous. So I often as I please let our son make it to the water.


  1. Amen. This was similar to my prayer...just let her be born with nothing wrong. Especially after all my body had gone through. I'd take it. I'd take it all if she came out okay.

    And she did. And after I put my body back together, I learned that making it to the water was just the beginning. It's beautiful. I can't wait for you to see how beautiful it is too.