Monday, January 13, 2020
An amazing thing has happened: this baby I had twenty....some....years ago has become a mentor to me. You wouldn’t think that a tiny spark of life and love, both artistic miracle and solid science, could grow into so much more than the sum of her parts but here she is, separate, whole, spectacular. I know she was formed in my body, she’s my child, part me, part her dad. But I’m overwhelmed by the reality of who she is, who she has become and is becoming. It’s a real mystery.
I’ve never really understood people who think they make a baby, create a life... I’ve always felt more like a toddler baking with her gramma.... I neither wrote the recipe, purchased the ingredients or even really understand how it all works, but after nanny helps me crack an egg into a bowl, fishes out the bits of shell and guides my little hands to add some other ingredients she’s pre-measured, she declares and helps me feel as if I’ve baked a cake. Andrew and I wanted to raise children and were savvy enough to figure out how to do our part and blessed enough to have it work out and result in the birth of a baby girl, and we managed to take good enough care of her that no one took her from us and she somehow survived it all into adulthood. But we REALLY didn’t have THAT much to do with it. That’s the real story.
Yesterday, I arrived at our community bible chapel at 9:10 for our 9 am worship band rehearsal and there she was with the rest of the band, music prayerfully selected, her own baby fed and snuggled into his car seat, watching the proceedings through sleepy new eyes... and she was ready to sing, hair done and pants on, ready to lead us. We prayed, we practiced, and I found myself holding my breath as I listened to her clear voice leading us through one of the hymns, struck both by the purity of the tone and the genuineness and gentleness of her spirit. She’s the real deal.
For a few months after my grandson was born, I couldn’t be around Gaëlle enough. I wanted to cherish her every moment I could as my child, my baby girl, my own dear daughter who had done this really big thing. I longed to be near her, watch her, help her. I was totally in love with her. Real, true love.
The part that I find so amazing, though, is that I suddenly realized yesterday that I easily forget the part where I had anything to do with her birth and upbringing as I sit and chat with her, eat a meal, laugh at memes and videos she sends me, cry together over loss or heartbreak, watch her baby sleep or do new things, or sing together at church. She’s my sister, my confidant, my co-conspirator, my leader, my mentor, my friend. Gaëlle Alicia Langille is not mine. She’s God’s masterpiece. What a real blessing!