I suspect that many of those close to me felt sure that parenthood would "cure" me of my agnosticism. I think many hoped that the "miracle" of childbirth and the overwhelming sense of love and peace I get when I look at Dav (that most parents get when looking at their little ones) would leave me certain that we are all children of a benevolent creator.
   I definitely felt a connectedness in the moments following Dav's arrival - due in large part, I believe, to the chemicals produced by my body to allow me to deal with the pain of childbirth. Those moments for me were not spiritual ones, but a celebration of how well thousands of years of evolution have equipped us as a species.
   My feelings of "one-ness" helped secure the bond between me and the tiny, goo-covered thing in my arms. That oxytocin overload ensures baby's survival by chemically inducing mommy to fall in love at first sight with baby. My natural birth experience allowed my body to take full advantage of the physical process that creates that intense emotional link.
   Parenthood has so far left me with: 1. Appreciation and respect for my body, stretch marks and all 2. Confidence in myself as a woman 3. Renewed love and gratitude for my parents 4. A seemingly endless store of energy and 5. A strengthened resolve in my humanistic, secularist set of beliefs.
   I think it is of the utmost importance to instill in my daughter a strong sense of right, justice, and charity. I will teach Dav to treat those around her with compassion and their beliefs with respect. I hope she feels the pull to act kindly and hold to her convictions because it is right and good to do so, not because there is an invisible hand waiting to punish or reward her. Though it may not be popular to say so, I hope she never puts blind faith in anything, but relies on reason and logic then acts with love and hope. That's all.

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