The thing is, it doesn't work that way. I'm still learning this, although you'd think I would know better. There are days in my life that I am completely shocked by a phone call, an email or text, an encounter with an acquaintance, a new demand that is placed on me. It truly turns the world on its side when we are faced with a diagnosis or a prognosis that we couldn't see coming. I went to the doctor for an ear problem and here the problem is my nose! What? (Not a big deal, I'm just saying, What?)
Then there are the days that true tragedy strikes, and we can't even look. We feel so lost. So unsure. So broken. Utter sadness. It consumes us. The pain that takes over and guarantees that we will never be the same again. We are changed. For days we cannot see the sky or feel the sunshine. We float through our days feeling like we haven't landed yet. The ground is no longer holding us up the way it was before. But here is the guarantee - tomorrow we will make coffee. The sky is still there behind the clouds. The sun will shine after the rain. The earth is turning. It will get easier again. We will land again, maybe in a different spot, a different time, but we will land.
There are actually a lot of guarantees in life. You will scrape your knee, and you will bleed. You will heal. You will get a splinter under your nail that hurts for days. You will run faster than you ever thought possible. You will lose something special. You will never forget your first backyard. You will struggle learning something new, whether it is the alphabet or puzzles or knitting or Honors Abstract Algebra. You will create something that amazes you. You will fail a test. You will be the best! You will lose a friend. You will have a day where the sun shines so brightly you never forget the light! You will hug someone and feel like you can never let go. You will be talked about behind your back. You will make people jealous. You will feel betrayed. You will betray. You will make mistakes. You will make yourself proud. You will cry for your own lost innocence. You will handle it with maturity. You will miss someone. You will be missed. You will meet someone who changes everything in your world, and you may stay with them and you may not. You will talk all night. You will cry yourself to sleep. You will get your heart broken. You will cry in pain and you will cry for joy.
So, new mother holding your five-year-old's hand, and experienced mother, with your hand on your eighteen-year-old's shoulder, please remember this: You have chosen this life for your child. You have chosen to be there. As for every other choice, there are no guarantees. When you choose the bunk beds, because that's what he really wants, over the double bed that is so much safer, he will fall off the top bunk, or maybe not. But go for the bunk bed! When she swears she wants to go far away to school, but you fear she will be homesick, she will. But go for the adventure! When you are unsure about ordering the sea bass with habanero chiles over the pasta with white sauce, go for the gusto! When you are tempted to drive to the beach just to get away, do it! There are no guarantees, except that life is a wonder. When you are going to bed and you cannot sleep for worrying about where he is and how she is feeling, and what they think, and what he said, and you are lying there with regrets, or sadness, or pain, or true sorrow for what has transpired, or you are actually crying yourself to sleep, just cry. And then sleep. And tomorrow we will make coffee. Or tea, if you like tea. And you will feel better. That is a guarantee.