Our lives are filled with tiny moments. Graduations, marriages, deaths, all burned forever into our brains. But yesterday, I experienced a tiny moment so large it eclipsed every other in my memory. And it began with a nurse's words:
"I want to point out some interesting features on your baby."
Spoken as calmly as you please. No sign of worry, no exclamation point.
The eyelid creases. The palm prints. The unmistakable face of a baby with Down syndrome.
"Do you see what I'm seeing?"
"Do you understand?"
I did. Yes, yes, I nodded. And now I had to walk across the room and take a seat beside my wife, smiling through the rest of her c-section (the smiling part is a lie, but I'm trying to give her some credit). I looked into the eyes of a woman whose world was about to turn upside down. A woman who was pleading to see her baby for the very first time. And I had no words to offer. No words would come.
"Can I see him?"
"Bring him over, please."
And so the nurse came...
She began with the good points, just like a realtor. Strong heartbeat. Good color. Waterfront view. And then she showed my wife the signs. The structural problems. And I watched the woman I love break like a piece of glass hit by a stone.
Such a tiny moment...
I have no doubt that this change will be a blessing. I know it, my wife knows it, our families know it. But that doesn't make it easy. I don't think the word "easy" will be in our vocabulary for awhile.
6 months ago