This week, I have been grateful for:
1. The incredible quote I stumbled across the night before my son arrived in the world:
The Japanese have a word for it: saku-taku-no-ki.
Saku -- the special sound a mother hen makes tapping on an egg with her beak.
Taku -- the sound a chick makes tapping from within.
No-ki -- the moment the tappings come together.
Saku-taku-no-ki -- the instant a chick pecking on the inside and the mother pecking on the outside reach the same spot. The egg cracks open. New life emerges.
Take Joy: A Writer's Guide to Loving the Craft
2. My obstetrician and all staff at the hospital. I wouldn't say it was the "perfect" experience but I can honestly say that (with only a few qualifications) that it was the best possible experience possible under the circumstances. I know that I could not have made any better choices and I feel lucky to have had access to the expertise and resources that I did.
3. Getting to stay at the Grand Hyatt as part of my hospital's "parenting program". It was pretty darn plush! We even got the most coveted room in the house, including a premium view of the Moomba Festival fireworks from our window. The quality food, the comfy bed, the peace and quiet, the relaxed nursing staff all made it a seriously attractive alternative to staying in hospital!
4. My wonderful friends from all corners of my life and all reaches of the globe, who have been unreserved in their messages of congratulations and support. I feel so blessed to be able to share my happiness with so many kindred spirits... and am delighted at the way they have respected my family's space at this intense time.
5. My brilliant sister, who welcomed her first baby -- a gorgeous girl -- into the world some six weeks ago. It is such a boon to be going through this together and I am especially grateful to her for paving the way this time around and reminding me what lies ahead. Also: she gets me.
6. My wonderful parents, who have really gone out of their way to ensure that I have felt supported both practically and emotionally. They also did an amazing job of looking after our daughter while we stayed in hospital.
7. Our incredible daughter, who has blown us away with her maturity in coping with this huge adjustment (in the midst of her own adjustment to school life). She has been so loving and so helpful that she has awed us at every step. She also did a magnificent job of training us up: parenthood is so much easier second time around.
8. My wonderful husband, who has been there for me every single moment. He has gone out his way to cushion our landing in this brave new world, despite having sustained a leg injury playing baseball early last week and being in the midst of a very stressful time at work.
9. Our beautiful son. He is an incredible soul and I am so humbled that he chose to join our family. My darling, you were totally worth the wait.
10. Tiny fingers and toes. Sweet milky breath. Soft soft skin. Short bursts of sleep. Sunshine and rain. Cuddles. Wonder. The hint of a smile. Even the hormonal tears, the aches and the leakiness, the doubt and the exhaustion. All is as it should be and I wouldn't trade it for anything.