Since the instant my firstborn took her first breath I’ve experienced this sensation in the dead center of my chest that is very much like something swelling to capacity. Swelling so rapidly with pure joy and love it always feels very close to bursting – yet never unpleasant, just overwhelming in the most glorious of ways. I’d call it my heart, but my actual biological heart is over to the left. It does that beating thing (morse code for: more cardio, less fried food, dumbass) that has me well aware of its location. So I’d decided this center breast bone feeling, that was always a here-and-there occurrence, must be where my soul’s heart resides. Certainly it corresponds with the mapping of the heart chakra.
Now, allow me to translate for my atheist friends (whom I greatly respect and adore): It’s that moment where you are so suddenly crippled with love that you’re brought to your mental knees, regardless of people being sheeple and God being dead and everything.
(“You say ‘there’s nada’ and I say ‘yo chakra’ – let’s call the whole thing off.”)
While that swelling-to-bursting-ness decreases with the increase of talking back, eleven years later it still sweeps me off my emotional feet. Like watching my baby sing in public today for the very first time. My husband and I were both brought to tears.
She never expressed interest in learning to play an instrument, muchless voice lessons. She stopped singing in front of her dad and I around age eight, telling us it was embarrassing because we make such a big fuss over her, telling us she was shy and not very good. Nonetheless, she badly wanted to take part in her school’s talent show and we did every parental thing we could to infuse her with confidence.
And she sang. And she was lovely. And the crowd cheered.
This child who’s always been prone to melancholy, pessimism and being too hard on herself, whose parents have been actively laying the foundation for her healthy self-esteem; we’re counting it a parenting win. But only partly, because the other half of that win was all her. Her bravery. Her presence. Her simply being lit-within.
And she sang. And she was beautiful. And I cried.
It was the best day.
P.S. While this should go without saying: this wasn’t an American Idol tryout. As yet, she hasn’t any career aspirations in the music industry. So, if you jeer her I will find you and I will stab you in your jeer hole.