The Thing I Think About The Most…
Posted by Joseph Cianciotto
I know I have spoken about this before in some form on this blog and I’m sure I will again but I remain in awe of the extent to which, as parents, the existence of our children validate the choices we’ve made in our life. This whole thread definitely goes a bit meta (especially considering I was listening to the Doors on my flight when I wrote this), but when you think about what had to transpire to bring about the succession of events that would lead to the birth of these specific individuals, it boggles the mind.
It seems as though our life is full of myriad choices and outcomes that are set into motion from the moment we are born to the moment we die. Every choice has a consequence and every consequence has a result. From the friends and crowds we hang out in high school, to the college we pick, to the major we select, to the career path we pursue, to the significant other we end up with. And to be fair those are just the broad strokes. There are millions of ordinary every day choices we make which lead to permutations on top of permutations, which give way to the ever-unfolding path that our life ultimately takes.
This brings me to my own two daughters, Hannah and Sophie. I couldn’t be more proud of them or pick two better souls to spend our lives with than these two nuggets. And if you stop to think of the odds of them happening, it gets infinitely more elusive. Even assuming that I ended up with Jen, there are still a multitude of things led to the exact moment that my wife’s specific egg dropped and the exact day that my precise swimmers were ready to….well you get the picture.
For the majority of my thirties before being a dad, God had blessed me with a healthy life, a great partner and a career I enjoyed. I however, being a neurotic mess, had spent the majority of my waking time lamenting so many of the choices I didn’t make. I would think of how I could have gotten that killer job out of college, instead of spending those next two years being a waiter and living in my parents’ basement. Hell the whole living in my parent’s basement alone for a chunk of my twenties is enough to keep my head shaking, but I digress. I would think about wasting so much of my hard earned money out at sketchy bars, the chances I didn’t take in advertising, the friendships I lost, the intentions unfulfilled and the opportunities I let slip through my fingers.
That was until, in the November of my 38th year Hannah came into our life. Some time a few months after she was born, I remember rocking her in the middle of the night when it hit me like a ton of bricks. I suddenly realized that every failed endeavor, every missed promotion, every broken heart, every time that life didn’t feel like it went my way…that collection and succession of these outcomes all led to this exact moment where God gifted me with the most incredible soul in the world. And in that instant 38 years of feeling like the victim of the unluckiest string of happenstances on the earth all gave way to this singular outcome that had in fact made me the luckiest person of all.
So there you have it. Going back and reading this I’m being a bit melodramatic but I think my message comes through. It seems that the lesson is that we can spend so much time lamenting the “woulda coulda shoulda” in life instead of seeing the happiness that we already have right under our noses. And it takes something as miraculous as bringing a child into this world to wake us up to this realization that we should have every day, which is the universe is unfolding exactly as it should. Well that and don’t live in your parents’ basement.
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