It has become a tradition that every month on Ben’s “birthday” I read Nancy Tillman’s On the Night You Were Born. If you don’t have this book in your library, you must get it. It’s a beautiful story that tells all of the wonderful things that happened on the night you were born. During the most recent reading of OtNYWB, I made it until the second to last page before I started getting choked up. It was a small victory.
Thinking about and talking about the night my baby was born is still close enough that I can feel the pain of the birth process but also the pain of love. The day before Ben was born, I did not know how much my life would change. I did not know how much love would fill my heart. I did not know that every time a ladybug lingers or I see a sleeping bear or hear a whispering wind, I would think of my love for Ben. OtNYWB is as much for parents as it is for kids. The book says that every time you see a ladybug lingering, it is waiting to see you [the baby] smile. Every time you see a bear sleeping at the zoo, it is tired from dancing all night for you. Every time you hear the whispering wind, it’s whispering your name again. Everywhere, there are signs of how special you are. On one level, the book tries to remind a child of how wonderful he is. On another level, it is a way for a parent to express her love for her child. The book shows that a parent’s love is in every ladybug sitting on a blade of grass. A parent’s love is in every sleeping bear in the zoo. A parent’s love is in the very wind. A parent’s love is everywhere. A parent’s love is unconditional. A parent’s love simply is.