A friend gave me a wonderful gift last night while I was cleaning off my laptop. There I was a couple of hours into archiving the files on a machine that I'll be giving to my dad when I heard the rhythmic "bloop, bloop, bloop" sound that alerts me that I have a new Instant Message.
I put down the laptop and took another long look at the picture on the desktop. It's one of my favorites. It captures a typical morning for me back when that laptop was my window on the world a couple of years ago. Each morning at six I would head downstairs, let the dog out, and start to work on the website I was editing. Most of the year I would be upstairs but in the summer it's just too hot in the attic.
The girls would make their way downstairs to find me sitting in a comfy chair. In this picture Maggie's climbed up on the chair behind me. Her feet are on the back of the chair and one knee is on each shoulder. She's wearing a grey oversized t-shirt that I brought back from some conference or other. Her head lies on top of mine and her long hair covers much of my face. Elena lies face up across my lap wearing her Winnie-the-Pooh pajamas. Both girls are looking over at their mother who isn't in this picture because she's the one taking it. Even though Kim's image isn't in the picture, I can see her through her daughters' eyes and it's a lovely family portrait.
"Bloop, bloop, bloop." The IM alert drags me back to the present.
It's a friend I haven't heard from in a while and he's bursting with news. He is the proud father of a beautiful new baby boy. He points me to pictures of his new son. There are shots of the new born alone. There are shots of him with his dad, and with his mom. My favorites are the ones of him with his older brothers. My friend says he's glowing.
Glowing? I'm glowing. He must be lighting up the night sky.
Aren't I sad? No.
Not even a little bit? No.
I am as happy for him for this wonderful news as he was sad for me and mine. He felt my loss deeply I immediately feel the excitement of his gain. He's such a happy dad. He loves to talk about his kids- what's new in their lives, what they are working on, and what they've been teaching him. When a dad like that is able to welcome a new child to his world, the world of those who know him becomes a noticeably better place in which to live.
He's bouncing off of the walls and I can feel it from a thousand miles away. If he didn't have to go home and put his older two boys to sleep he would still be in the hospital room with his wife and new baby.
Lou nudges my leg. This golden retriever puppy we are watching this weekend has made his way up to my office. Greeting me at night as my girls used to in the morning. He's letting me know that Maggie and Kim have come home from the ice show.
I say goodnight to my friend and realize he has given me two gifts tonight in sharing the news and pictures of his new son. Not only has he allowed me to share in his joy but he has honored me a great deal by knowing and trusting that I would rejoice in his news.
"Bloop, bloop, bloop." I have closed the window too quickly. He just wants to add that he'd love me to share the pictures with Kim.