Biggest moment #4 – Amelia’s surgery
Don’t get me wrong. The babies being born were big moments. But their births don’t really define a person as much as people make it out to be. The whole, “Greatest moment of my life was my kid’s birth” line doesn’t really appeal to me. I think it’s because I don’t see those moments as terminal. They aren’t an ending. They’re a beginning.
In a lot of ways the biggest moments are actually endings of some sense. All the ones I’ve listed so far were pretty major endings to pretty major periods of my life. Amelia’s surgery was the same.
It was after she woke up, and everything was ok, that I lost all of my pessimism about the world. Because between 25 and 28 I tended to be down more than up. At TokBox especially. In my personal life outside of Micky definitely. Well…
Actually, it wasn’t pessimism… it was fear. Before the kids I was afraid of all the choices I was making, and I was even more afraid of all the ones that I wasn’t making. But not the kind of decision where you see that your 3 year old is climbing the 5 year old ladder at the playground, and they’re going to fall. I feared tomorrow. Or maybe unknown outcomes.
And more so, as I think about it, it isn’t actually my fear of unknown outcomesÂ that ended. It was finally being able to comprehend and accept what mortality really meant. That there is a lifecycle for things, and that there is inherent risk in doing something today that may affect where that lifecycle goes tomorrow.
That we could, as loving, first-time, scared shitless, and alone (God, we were so alone) parents, that we could give Amelia to a team of surgeons, head up to the cafeteria, and just not know what was going to happen. That you could fall in love with someone so much at 10 months old that the thought of them being less than everything they could be was a worse outcome, than the thought of losing them to a surgical procedure. And yet sitting in that cafeteria eating really shitty scrambled eggs, and wondering what was normal ever going to be like again.
When she woke up, and we had faced that moment of mortality, when we had taken Kierkegaard’s leap of faith, that moment of being moments from losing everything to being free to have anything, I lost my need to hold onto today because it was to scary to look into tomorrow.
Maybe this is such a big moment because when Amelia woke up, I learned how to fly. And, in the damnedest of roll reversals, she was the one carrying me.