nobody knows

When you load up that new baby in the back of the car and the rolling suitcase tips into the trunk and you ease your sore body into the passenger seat and your husband closes the door behind you with a car-door thunk...  

Take a moment to notice, as you pull out of the parking garage, all the other cars on the road. A landscaper's truck. An SUV with a parking sticker on the window and a Trinity College bumper sticker. Every other car is a Subaru. These cars, just like your car, are all full of people on their way somewhere - work, the pharmacy, the vet, to see a lawyer, to go to the gym, to meet up with an old flame, to bring home the new baby.

The drivers might notice you, your blue sedan. They might notice how carefully you're making turns, the extra-long following distance. They probably won't.

Take a moment to recognize that the world inside your car is permanently distinct from the world you left as you waddled into the hospital days ago. 

Take a moment and relish the fact that nobody else knows. Nobody knows what you just gained, what you just lost. You're just another driver, passenger, car seat combo. Nobody knows you're an hours-old parent. Nobody knows the strangeness and preciousness of your cargo.

In a minute you will re-enter the world. You will merge with the traffic and be just another vehicle on its way somewhere. 

But take just a moment and sit with this. While you might look like just another car on the road, humming homeward, you are more now than you ever were before. And nobody knows. 

I don't know if there's a larger point here. I will just always remember this moment, the thunderclap of how profoundly my life had changed, and how profoundly the appearance of my life had remained the same. How quickly and quietly that canyon had been carved between my insides and outsides. How many moments like that do we get in this life?

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