I’ve been thinking about a sketch I did years ago. In another life, really. Surrounded by sick and fearful friends, I immersed myself in what you might call the California New Age curriculum. We talked about our feelings, drew them, danced them. A skeptic would have a lot to make fun of. A believer could be changed forever. I’ve got both inside me, but on a good day the believer wins out.

DC-2002 042-meAnyway, this sketch is an adult and a baby. Father and child? It was probably supposed to be my inner child, though I have no memory of when I drew it or what it meant to me. I always liked it, the sweetness, the protectiveness. And you can actually tell what it is, unlike quite a few of my drawings.

I forgot all about it, until in a panic before the kids were placed with us I pulled out some old sketches to try and make Jay’s former office look like a kids room. I stuck it on the wall with a lot of other random stuff. I didn’t think about it, until one night Jaden, about 20 months, was inconsolable, and I was carrying him around in his room.

Trying to comfort a squalling, screaming little one is indescribable. It’s infuriating, exhausting, and incredibly intimate. You’re all they’ve got, which is terrifying because you barely feel up to the task. Helpless, murderously angry, tired, afraid, finally you accept that this baby is going to cry until he stops, and you’re going to hold him at least that long, probably longer. It bonds you forever.

It makes perfect sense that Christianity has as its brightest hope an infant. The innocence, the total vulnerability, and underneath that the power of nearly infinite potential.

So there we were, just like the image. I realized, this is the future. This is the future I’ve worked so hard for so long to create. This is the self I imagined, made up, hoped for. I drew this, set down this dream.

I still can’t believe it.