Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that is taking place among you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad and shout for joy when his glory is revealed.
I Peter 4:12-13
Peter Malcolm Keene Crossett
born 22 January 2012
Iowa City, Iowa
If my father were still alive, and still running the Virgil Press, his hobby letterpress in Vermont, that is the announcement I would have him print of my son’s birth. Peter was born at 6:49 pm at the same hospital where I was born just a little over thirty-six years ago. He weighed 7 lbs. 10 oz. and was 20 inches long at birth, and he emerged with a full head of silky dark hair and dark blue eyes and just a slight bruise on top of his head where they had to use a vacuum extractor to help me get him the last tiny bit of the way out. My mother, his father, and my doula, Melissa, were there to help welcome him into the world, and my friend Caitrin was with me throughout labor.
As I write this, Peter is four days old. He moves his head of his own accord, looks at things with his big eyes, eats heartily, and sleeps peacefully. He seems to be one of those mythical good babies that people talk about but almost no one has, but apparently I lucked out. Of course, I would think that no matter what, I think. We had a very long road from a strange conception to a difficult pregnancy to a very, very long labor and delivery, but we are here now, and well, and that is what matters.
The passage from the first epistle of Peter at the top was one of the readings on the Sunday before Pentecost this past year. I was five weeks pregnant and more terrified than I have ever been in my life. Peter, of course, wasn’t talking about pregnancy but rather the arrival of the Holy Spirit, the beginnings of Christian life, and other such weighty concepts. But I am hardly the first person to hear in a Bible verse what I want or need to hear, and what I needed at that time was the assurance that this strange thing that was happening to me was in fact the harbinger of a miracle. I have never been so happy to be proved right.