the sound of a real heart
a baby heart
beating beating beating
…and I feel as if
this is my team
my mother and father and me
and the baby
(from Heartbeat by Sharon Creech)
Three years ago today I heard my son’s heartbeat for the first time. He was just a blurry little bean on the ultrasound screen but that little heart was beating so fast and strong. It was amazing.
We celebrate it every year, his heartbeat day. This morning we had heart shaped pancakes and for lunch we will enjoy a heart shaped pizza. I want him to know how much we loved him, how much we wanted him from the very start. He doesn’t understand it this year. He just thinks it’s fun to eat food in the shape of a heart! But someday, I want him to understand how amazing life is, how miraculous it is that a person who is only two centimeters long and shaped like a bean could have an actual beating heart. That this walking, talking, singing, dancing, drumming, running, eating blue-eyed boy grew from that tiny beginning.
The greatest gift pregnancy gave me was, of course, my son. The second greatest gift of pregnancy was the sense of wonder. I want to pass that on to my son, for him to understand how amazing life is. That’s another reason we will continue to celebrate his Heartbeat Day every year. Saint Augustine said, “Men go abroad to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.”
Do not pass by yourself today without stopping to wonder at the life you have. The dexterity of your fingers, the delicacy and strength of your eyelids, the crinkling of your eyes when you smile, the senses of smell and sight and touch. The beating of your heart.