A while back, my husband’s best friend got married to an exceptionally accomplished woman. Not only is she practically a concert pianist, she is also a law professor. At first I found her intimidating, but when she got pregnant I realized that she deserved my pity more than my admiration—pity because motherhood comes as a shock to every woman, but especially to one who is used to being productive. She and I happened to be pregnant at the same time, my third baby coming a couple months before her first. When my son was born, and I discovered for the third time that caring for a newborn is the hardest job on the planet, I called her up and offered some hard-earned knowledge on the best ways to nurse, how to stay hydrated, how to get her body back in shape, and how to cope emotionally. As we talked, I realized why she is so accomplished. It’s because she knows an expert when she meets one. She recognized me for the authority I am and ate up my advice like chocolate pie. After all, while she was studying torts, I was doing more than just making tarts. I had learned a profession too–motherhood. Eventually I heard through my husband that her baby had come, and I hoped she was putting my counsel to use. I thought about her sometimes as I went about my day, especially after a sleepless night with my baby. If I was having a hard time, one can only imagine how difficult things must have been for her, and so I offered a prayer in her behalf. Some time later I heard my husband talking to her husband on the phone. I waited anxiously for him to hang up so I could ask, “How are they doing?!”“They’re fine,” my husband replied. “The baby’s two months’ old now.”“So, is the baby growing?! Is Carolynn coping?”“Yeah, she’s fine,” he replied.“Is she managing with working part time?!”“Yeah, she’s working part-time—the baby sleeps through the night and has said her first word.”“Huh?”“Yeah, they taught her to say ‘Oh,’ and she says it to them all the time.” Long pause. “. . . Oh,” I managed to say. It was the baby’s first word, and my last.