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Watershed Moments

Updated: Jun 17, 2020

As we await the zombie apocalypse in this unpredictable season of global flux, many of us are at unexpected turning points, faced with decisions we didn't know we'd have to make. I've had a few watershed moments in my life. Crossroads at which I faced choices with far-reaching implications I couldn't imagine in the moment. I had to move forward sightless, egged on by a mysteriously persistent nudge, by principle, by emotion and for many years, by fear. As I personally navigate a season of change in the midst of worldwide wackiness, brimming with uncertainty, I'm looking for instructive anchor points from my own life. A couple stand out and my kids figure prominently. As always, I hope my experience helps you.

Pierce (2006)

I wasn't the kind of gal who longed to have kids, bruised as I was, but as sometimes happens with women, when the clock had been ticking a while, I felt stirrings. Even so, my marriage was very rough from the start, I wasn't conceiving, and three years in, I decided to end it. I was going to visit family in Italy and resolved that if something hadn't shifted during the interval, I was out.

The trip itself was a not-so-funny comedy of errors and I'd felt really off the whole time. When I got home, my funk persisted. I took a pregnancy test and discovered Pierce was on his way. Suddenly, I was faced with the choice of leaving and creating a new life solo with my elderly, schizophrenic mom and new baby in tow.

Lousy timing. It seemed.

Overwhelmed at the prospect, I rolled up my mental shirt sleeves and resolved to stay put. With many years of ruthless training, I know how to make the most out of challenging situations and I did. God poured out his grace, giving us more than a decade of mostly contented years. My ongoing dis-ease prompted me to continue to work on myself. I finished my bachelor's and master‘s degree, freelanced, and engaged in oodles of self-help and spiritual activities. Lots of growth.

My firstborn, Pierce is a chip off the old mama-block, and as such, is a continuing source of amusement, adventure, insight and irritation, since we're so darned similar. The notable ways in which he's different have been catalysts for personal growth, as only kids can be. A popular, gregarious fellow, where I was a shy outlier, he's also the consummate jock, and has helped me find my inner jockette--though I'm still clueless about most sports. I never expected to enjoy motherhood so much and even though I was long in the tooth, I remained open to having another kid. I wasn't expecting it, since it had taken years to produce Pierce.

And then came Isaac.

Kids can change us for the better--if we let them.

Isaac (2010)

If you're a regular reader, you know about Isaac, my giant, juicy object lesson and extravagant, unexpected gift. Isaac didn't look much like a gift when I first learned something might be different at my 12-week sonogram, yet I had a deep sense of love and vague peace at the prospect of meeting him. I had the option to abort, and though I had intermittent gut-wrenching angst at the idea of having a kid with special needs, I felt a quiet conviction that he was meant to be.