I just returned from my very first ‘babymoon’.
I’m not sure what Dr. Spock would say about the phenomenon, but I
suspect he would approve of what I witnessed this weekend. He might even
It wasn’t mine exactly; I was a witness to someone else’s ‘babymoon’. I
must admit, I had not heard of ‘babymooning’ before, but now I’m a
believer. I might even be an evangelist. I feel like spreading the word to the
It should be a commandment for all expecting parents: Thou shalt go on a
‘babymoon’. It should be covered by pre-natal health insurance.
Pediatricians and psychologists alike should prescribe it. Heck, it should be
mandatory federal law: Babymoons or jail.
A ‘babymoon’ is the au courant term for a honeymoon-like vacation or
getaway that soon to be parents take as a last hurrah before the baby
I didn’t make this up. It’s legit. The New York Times wrote about it in 2007
and since then it’s been so trendy that luxurious high-end hotels, airlines
and frou-frou all encompassing spa packages have gotten in on the act.
But the babymoon I saw, amidst the ancient redwoods and crashing seas of
Big Sur, cost very little and was priceless.
My friends Karen and Lucas combined their baby moon with their
wedding, and threw in a honeymoon to boot. The weekend I was a
privileged to be part of has proven to this non-believer one thing:
Babies really do bring people together.
Karen, a Hollywood set decorator and writer, had been trying to adopt for
years when she met Lucas, a Venice skateboarding musician internet whiz
kid. They fell for each other. And then decided to live together.
That’s when I met them.
I moved into the guesthouse behind their home and suddenly our lives
were separated by only a green picket fence and a fig tree under which the
owners of the property had planted the placentas of their babies. They said
it was for good karma and more babies.
Karen and Lucas are no longer in the 20s or 30s. Like me, they are past the
point of idealist romantic notions and I think they had all but given up on
the Hollywood dream fantasy of love and marriage and the miracle of
But before long the miraculous happened. The fruit of the fig tree bore
more fruit. Karen and Lucas got pregnant. Then they got engaged.
Hence the trek to Big Sur. Their mooning activities began. First up, the
A wedding usually involves lots of people and stress and conflict and family
and a big party. But this was just about them, and just about the most
unique intimate thing I have ever experienced.
Karen a beautiful, bountiful 6 months pregnant and Lucas the ever-earnest
Groom and father to be, have wonderful timelessness about themselves and
their relationship. Old souls wondering around the modern world.
I was their witness, standing next to them like a proverbial guest house,
this time separated this time by a new age minister and shaman named
Soaring. My dogs, Curious and meme served as the ring bearer and flower
Soaring placed her hands on Karen and Lucas – first on their hearts, heads,
and then their feet and asked them to they look out into the horizon – and
consider the endlessness of the union they were entering into.
Then she placed a blessing on them and their son to be – Noah Jackson –
who had a front row view of the nuptials, from inside Karen’s growing
maternal belly hidden beneath a stylish Great Gatsby like dress.
From out of nowhere, like the waves that crash on the coasts rocks, a tide
of unexpected tears and laughter washed over us – interrupted the service
with a tsunami of emotion – baptizing the union; anointing this tribe to be.
There they were, in the middle of the day, in the middle of their life, in the
middle of nature; the moment devoid of artificial rituals and guests and
gifts and artifice. A holy circle was sealed.
I felt I was witnessing something special. A birth. A pre-birth-birth. The
birth of a family. The minister was a midwife. I was a stand-in for all their
friends and family past and future.
There is no book or manual or guide written for this thing they were doing.
They were writing it as they went. The vows were unconventional and
personal, the prayer unpolished and nondenominational and spontaneous
and Karen, and Lucas – both totally traditionally on the outside, were
winging it. Out on a limb. They were present to the moment.
This morning Lucas wrote about in his face book account:
It couldn’t have turned out better. It turned out to be a wedding for just us,
or just for the marriage. It wasn’t a last minute trip to Vegas and it wasn’t
a yearlong obsession. A strange and wonderful thing about the ceremony
was that it turned into an ecstatic experience, along the lines of being
born again or doing peyote in the desert. It was related to crying our eyes
out with joy at the same time that Soaring did a complex series of new
I went back to the beach the morning after, to take a dawn photo of the
space as a keepsake for them and maybe pick up on some of Soaring’s
residual blessings. Along the path a few left over rose pedals along with
some day old dog pooh. My dogs ran over to the shore and trampled over a
word that was etched in the sand.
Corny. Sure. But there is was. In big bold letters. Someone had come and
gone at dawn and writ it in the earth.
I like to say, ‘some of my best friends are parents’. But I think I’ll start to
claim, ‘some of my best friends are about to be parents.’ And to all of them
I have one piece of advice: Do what Lucas and Karen and Noah did.
Take a babymoon.
Go away to prepare a holy space for the baby that will be arriving. Get out
of Ikea and into the woods.
To many new parents in our world, the baby has become a prop, an
accessory or a vanity creation. When I think about the amount of time and
money new parents won getting the room ready with cribs and toys and
gadgets, paint and wallpaper and mobiles, I get overwhelmed. I wonder
how many new parents skip the most important step of all in preparing for
the arrival. It’s not about the room or the place; it’s about creating space in
This is what Lucas and Karen created this past weekend.
And if their baby-honey-life-love-moon was any indication, Noah’s room is
ready. His place in the world, in their world, in their relationship, is going
to be filled with love.
And that is cause for a celebration – and, if you’re smart, a vacation as well.