I rocked and sang him to sleep and thought about mothers in other places of the world: mothers whose cradle is a sidewalk in Calcutta which floods with garbage and human waste during the rainy season, mothers dying of AIDS in a dusty African village wondering who will care for their children when they are gone, mothers with breasts as dried up as the parched land around them, cradling their baby for a few more hours before death steals their hope once again.
The invisible butterfly touch of Isaac's hand on my arm broke through all the witnessed suffering and I simply HAD to give thanks for the wonder of the conception and birth of this child. The joy was incomplete without thanksgiving.
If the existentialist conclusions my wounded heart had been whispering were right and there is no supernatural Other who grants that privilege and joy of bringing children into the world, then who do you thank for the new baby in your arms?
All the alternative answers I formulated seemed to suck all the joy and purpose out of giving thanks, and giving thanks seemed to to me to be intrinsically necessary to a well-lived life. A world with no Supernatural Lover is a flat, two dimensional world - a world without enough space to host the exhilarating joy of new life.