Today I was singing and rocking Isaac when I heard the strangest thing. It was so startling, loud, and full that I jumped up out of my seat at first as if to run outside to see the parade, and then I realized it: that’s me! I’m laughing. I’m gut laughing. My face hurts. I’m crying.
How grateful am I!
Oh, if you can, come and see him, his hair curly and brown, his skin the color of mine, and his eyes – his eyes (like the first star of the night, the one promising many more in the coming hours) are a straight look into the future. Isaac is better than a promise. He is the very Father of our Kings, and God chose me to stare at his big, gorgeous eyes.
I’m not the only one laughing, either. Isaac, sometimes in the middle of his dreams, he’ll coo lowly, then giggle once or twice, and we’ll squeeze each other’s hands at how appropriate his name is.
The young mothers come to give me new-mother advice about feeding and bathing, but they stop and laugh as they remember that I have helped them raise their own.
And the men, I pretend not to notice them, but even when they come to bring gifts, they chuckle and nudge Abraham, calling him Faithful and Blessed and then whispering: You Old Dog.
Speaking of appropriate names—I love Abraham’s new name – and mine, too. God put His breath, the letter hei, into our old names, and especially now that Isaac is born, it fits me, and I am someone different.
I know rest. The young mothers have told me over the years that they watch their babies to make sure they breathe, but there is no room for doubt – only awe here. I mean, I am ninety-one year old woman, and I have had a baby.
I know rest.
There is a God of Impossible Things, and He cannot be thwarted — not by any barren thing!
(from Genesis 21)