The Big Bang at the Heart of Our Lives, and Our Relationships
As a coach, I help people make big changes to create more meaning and fulfillment in their lives – and wow, I've been through some major changes in my own life these past six months.
Our son, David, was born at the tail end of last year, three weeks earlier than he was due.
His big sister Eva has nicknamed him “DD,” often heard as a battle cry of affection around our house. "D! D!!!!!!" These two are now both the beloved, joyful heart of our family.
Last week, I drove David to the Barcelona hospital where he was born, for a five month check-up.
Since he was born a day or two premature, he will get these special pediatric visits until he is two years old. Happily, his pediatrician found that he's developing just as he should. She commented especially on his flawless “tan” (must be my Japanese genes, everyone says), big lively eyes and how easily he laughs.
On our way home, he was fussing in the backseat because he was tired and the traffic was moving too slowly to lull him to sleep.
The sound of my voice seemed to calm him, so I started telling him the story of the day he was born, how his father and I decided at the last minute to drive an hour and a half to Barcelona to a hospital we'd never been to before, but that specialized in breech births.
Because I knew he was coming early, and that he still hadn’t turned. That was an exciting car ride.
Telling him that story reminded me of how – of all the big changes in my life – this was one of the most wondrous and mysterious.
Perhaps his timing was most striking to me because last fall was the first time I spoke publicly about how at age 34 I had wondered if I would ever have the chance to have a family, and how it colored my decision to take the big risk of leaving my life and career path to take a year-long break.
(I recorded that story in two parts on my podcast Leap Like Me: Part I, Part II.)
The ripple effect of that leap continues to humble me. Last December, I found myself celebrating my 40th birthday in the same month that my second baby decided to make his surprise entrance.
His birth stirred in me a deeper contemplation about the nature of life in this universe. A more profound respect for the things that are out of our control. An awe for how things can unfold even more wonderfully than we could imagine. A great gratitude for all the inconceivable vectors that brought me to this place, and that brought this precious being into my care.
Last fall, I also ordered some new picture books about babies to start the conversation with Eva about the arrival of her new little brother. One of our favorites became Everywhere Babies, by Susan Meyers, which closes with these lines:
“Every day, everywhere, babies are loved ~
for trying so hard, for traveling so far, for being so wonderful … just as they are!"
For traveling so far … the first time I read that phrase to Eva, I thought, what an odd and interesting idea for an author to put into her children’s book.
It stuck with me. Because it felt so very true, and seemed to sum up indeed the most profound part of my love for my children.
How improbable it truly is that we could all travel so far and find ourselves bound together in love, for this moment, in this life.
“Where did you travel from?” I asked baby David as we drove home from Barcelona. “I suppose you must know somewhere inside you. As we all must know, somehow, right?”
Recently I've also been reading Sharon Salzberg’s book, Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection. Her words say it another way:
“All bodies are part of matter, created at the big bang, 10 billion years before the earth appeared. Yes, your overall body is composed of about 7 octillion venerable atoms (that’s a 7 with twenty-seven zeros after it), mostly produced by exploding stars. You are literally stardust; so is everything around you.”
This is what I most wanted to share with you today.
How special it is that you are here.
What an amazing journey that you are on. You too have traveled so far – and there is still so much in store for you.
How wonderful that we are connected in this moment in time too.
Are you ready to get some support on a big change you see ahead for you? Grab a time to talk with me here.