You know how sometimes in life you push and push and push, but seem to slam up against a brick wall rather than get closer to your goal? And then there are those other times when all things fall into place effortlessly? When the stars seemingly align, and there’s an ease, a flow, an organic “rightness” to things? A “meant to be” quality?
For me, having a second child was that brick wall. At first, after going through a miscarriage and a fertility struggle to have Lucien, having a second wasn’t even on my radar. And then we began trying. I swore I wouldn’t let the trying, and the subsequent disappointment, tarnish my years with my first child. How could I spend that precious, fleeting time with Lucien crying about the baby I didn’t have, when I had a precious being who needed me, right there in my arms?
Most days, I accept and embrace my family size—the simplicity, the closeness, the intimacy, the freedom. And yet, it hasn’t always been easy to let go of the dream of having another baby, not when motherhood has been such a blessing in my life, not on the days when I long to give Lucien a sibling.
I’ve been thinking about ease and flow, about struggle and surrender lately. With our recent return to New York there seemed so many obstacles—housing, finances, school, work, logistics, and day-to-day routines. (How would we find a place to live? A school for Lucien? How would our dog adjust back to apartment life?)
And then, somehow, the pieces magically came together. An apartment to sublet in a favorite Brooklyn neighborhood. School for Lucien; a spot miraculously opening up for him in the middle of the school year. Getting to see old, dear friends, and the prospect of new friendships, too.
It’s been as if a fairy godmother came and granted me three wishes. Poof! Poof! Poof! And I’m so grateful.
Of course there are days when I linger on thoughts of the one (big) wish left unfulfilled. I think we all have one or more of those, whether the wish is for another child, a different career, an intimate relationship or closer friendships, more stable finances, or even more time in the day to practice yoga.
Maybe the big wish, the big goal, is to work hard, try our best, and then surrender to what is, to the reality—the complicated, imperfect, beautiful reality—of our present. To make our wishes, and then count our many blessings with gratitude. (I’m getting ready to go pick mine up now.)
How do you balance striving with acceptance? In what ways have you surrendered gratefully to your life’s path?