Saturday, August 25, 2007

Blue Eyes

"Blue eyes, my baby's got blue eyes. Like a deep blue sea on a blue, blue day." -- from "Blue Eyes" by Elton John

Jenna was born three years ago tomorrow. Eight-and-a-half pounds. A golden sheen to her head that promised blond hair. Blue eyes.

At least I tell people they're blue. There really isn't a word to describe the color of her eyes.

But I'll try.

I learned to scuba dive in 1993. And I learned something about it right off: scuba diving is a big hassle. So much heavy, awkward equipment is required for breathing underwater. The tank by itself weighs 80 pounds. Then there's the weight belt, which must be adjusted just right so you won't float to the surface or be stuck on the ocean floor. Then you have the BCD, the fins, snorkel, mask and wetsuit -- if the water you're diving in is going to be cold.

But once below the surface, the oppressive gear becomes your key to the underwater world. You swim around weightless, holding out fingers as curious fish swim up to them. Your teeth clench around the regulator that, on land moments before, was uncomfortable in your mouth. Now it's the only way to get air into your lungs. The sound of your constant inhaling and exhaling is a reminder that you're doing something humans weren't made to do. You are living, thriving, underwater. The hassle, for the moment, is forgotten.

It took us a long time to get Jenna into this world. I got pregnant, then miscarried. Pregnant again, then blood one morning. Pregnant a third time, but then more blood. We started thinking adoption. Then I got pregnant again, and this one held. I got very sick, was placed on home healthcare, and then developed gestational diabetes. Then, one Thursday morning, the previous year-and-a-half faded as I finally looked into her eyes.

And I remembered the circle of light.

Thirty feet under the ocean's surface, it's easy to become disoriented -- to the point that you can lose track of which way you're supposed to go to reach air. As a scuba diver, you learn to look for light. Light means surface. When you find the sunlight piercing the blue mass in which you are submerged, you slowly swim toward it, exhaling all the way. Surrounded by varying shades of watery blue, the circle of light expands and seems to pull you toward itself. You keep swimming up, up, up -- until you think your lungs can't expel any more air. But the bubbles keep coming from your mouth, and you keep moving toward the light.

Then you reach it and you burst through it into air, light, life.

That's what color Jenna's eyes are.

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  • At Sat Aug 25, 12:10:00 PM, Blogger HW said…

    I am without words.

    This is simply beautiful.

    Three-year-olds are my favorite people in the whole world.

    Happy birthday to Jenna!

  • At Sun Aug 26, 08:14:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Wow, I am in awe of the wonderous prose that you can write. I saw you go through one miscarriage after anoher . I was there when amazing JENNA WAS BORN , Happy bithday Jenna .Our Lord is gracious and merciful. Lois

  • At Tue Aug 28, 02:06:00 PM, Blogger Winston said…

    My, how you can write ... amazing, simply amazing ...
    Jenna is so beautiful ... Paw-Paw is so proud ... thank you daughter and Chad ...

    Your beautiful description brought to mind the following old church song which I haven't heard in years ...

    "Above the bright blue,
    The beautiful blue ...
    Jesus is waiting
    For me and for you ...
    Heaven is there
    Not far from our sight,
    Beautiful City of Light ... "


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