The Best Thing

I grabbed dinner with a spectacular woman Charlotte, who is one of the anointed human beings on this planet full of zest for life. Pushing sixty with a love for music, she teaches percussion in a studio in Long Island when she’s not having sex. She gets more action than anyone I know and embraces her sexual freedom and her coterie of lovers, living by this motto: “If Mr. Right’s not coming any time soon, I’m going to have Mr. Right Now.” I would like to be as gregarious and upbeat and full of life as she is at her age, not to mention have copious amounts of sex like she does.

Still, over this fun girl’s dinner, one comment she made stayed with me. Having her two children was the best thing that’s ever happened to her, she mentioned. No surprise, here. Most people who’ve had kids would tell you it’s the best thing, and if they don’t think that, they’re probably sociopaths.

I started wondering what experience could possibly top having kids. As mentioned in a previous entry, even Hillary Clinton values being a grandparent over her accomplishments…and that’s everything she’s done. I bet once Malala Yousafzai gives birth, she, too, would swap her Nobel Peace Prize win with having a child as the most important moment of her life. Ray LaMontagne is in town this week blessing this city with his soul-penetrating voice, and suddenly I wonder if he is literally talking about a baby when he sings “You Are The Best Thing.”

During this brainstorm today, I coincidentally was offered a pay raise and equity for the first time after being at my company for X amount of years. It was unexpected and obviously good news. But then coincidentally, my friend gave birth to her first born today–also a surprise given her due date was three weeks from now.  My promotion and recognition after years of hard work clearly became meaningless next to god’s work of delivering life. It’s like that show, if Jack Bauer saves the world by uncovering an assassination plot, prevents a dirty bomb from detonating, survives a pursuit by both Russian and the American government all in 24 hours, it would still mean jack smack compared to having a baby.

Is there anything, anything that can be more meaningful than having a baby?

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