Big Topics at Midnight’s dedication reads, “My ancestors and I dedicate this book to [my grown children] Paul and Laura. May you and other young adults and children around the globe today, as well as your children, benefit from my generation’s work to create the transformation we long for. Blessings as you live your own lives fully, wildly and boldly.”
I wrote that in 2012.
Just after midnight on April 25, 2018, the bleak hospital maternity waiting room cleared out as other eager but tired grandparents left to find a more comfortable place to rest for a few hours. Left alone, I felt free to sing out loud. A favorite lullaby I sang to Paul and Laura when they were young. Beloved hymns. Chants. One flowing into the next, all lifted up for the parents, Lauren and Paul, in the last stages of laboring.
Just before 3:00 am, I heard faint bells ringing. They ring when a baby is born; at that moment, the bells pealed to announce Daniel Gunner Thurston’s arrival. Within the hour, I stood beside my 6’4” son as he held his 19” newborn with such gentleness. Soon, I too got to hold Daniel close to my heart. One so tiny burst out of his tiny womb-home, and a new generation in the family had arrived.
I am so excited to be Danny’s Grammie. As my mother used to tell young Paul, we’ll have many grand adventures together.
With my one-week old grandchild in my heart, I am more committed than ever to help create a world where all children and adults can live fully, wildly and boldly.
For me, that commitment used to hold an urgency. Seeing all that was so unjust and inequitable, I wanted things to change quickly.
I’ve learned that urgency only slows down the process.
Daniel reminds me of the mystery and grace of a life lived in both body and spirit—a life that can’t be rushed. Before I know it, he will also show me the awe of discovering the wonders of the world around us, the joy of playing and the natural flow of creativity.
As always, the flow of gift between the generations moves in all directions. As I hold Daniel, I can feel my ancestors, especially my parents, Sue and Ed, my grandparents Ann and John, Ruth and OR, great-grandparents Allie and Arthur … gathering around. Those long gone from this earth and this one so newly arrived all encourage me choose integrity, love, equity and respect in every moment. And to have fun along the way.
Daniel, and all of his generation, send out this summons to you and to me with their adorable sleeping faces, their lusty cries, and their innate desire for snuggling. I want to be a student of the seasoned teachings from the ancestors, from my colleagues and friends, from my own heart, and from Daniel’s baby’s delight. Together, we are all up for the task of living and loving our way into a beautiful world that values us all.