The baby inside me kicked and kicked; I felt her foot against her brother’s back and realized how much my answer to that old question has changed over the years. Of course I hope, for her sake, that she will be a healthy child. No mother hopes for her children to have to walk a difficult road; it is our nature to want their paths to be as pleasant as possible. But no longer could I say and mean (even if I didn�t know the gender of the child): “I don�t care what it is as long as it�s healthy,” with its tacit suggestion that an unhealthy baby means only tragedy and sorrow. If that wish had come true last time, I wouldn�t have my Wonderboy. If this child � or any of my others, for that matter, for Jane is proof that being “born healthy” is no guarantee of perpetual good health � should encounter serious medical difficulties, I know now that no matter how hard the road may be, even if it leads through the depths of Moria, it will carry us through Lothlorien, too. And even in Moria there can be humor and camaraderie and courage and hope among the band of travelers � especially the smallest ones.
So far our Bella’s been perfectly healthy and we haven’t had to walk the road parents must walk when a child is sick; but I know that she herself is a gift and her health another gift on top of that. I hope that if one day we have to walk that road, Dom and I will be able to walk it with the same grace and courage.