The Kid is going to have surgery on his neck. Because of the way he was stuffed into my ute, all crunched in and upright, his left side didn’t have as much room to grow as his right. Specifically, the left side of his head and neck (don’t worry, both sides of his jewels are HUGE). So he wore the helmet for a good six months and now his head is a beautiful sphere–that tilts cutely to the left at nearly all times. Which is cute for pics, but bad for life. No one wants to pass the ball to the guy with his ear on his shoulder, amirite?
After nine months of court-ordered exercises, we heard the dreaded S word from his trusted physical therapist. So we went for a consult with the surgeon. I knew what he would tell us; I mean, hello, TK’s head was cocked from the moment we walked into that office. But I still had to allow myself a grieving period when it became final that, at the end of next month, they would be putting my baby to sleep for a (fifteen-minute) procedure that involves cutting and tearing and sewing.
Then I remembered that there’s something else that involves those activities. And it’s called life. And since grace is my surgeon, I don’t have to stay sad about this or anything.
Can he get by without surgery? No. Will you agent my book and have it published within the year? No. Can I get married at the age of twenty-five and have two kids before thirty? No. (And, you’re welcome.) There are times when I look back over my thirty-five years and all I can see is a series of negative responses to the hopes I had. For awhile, those Nos made me question God’s goodness, even his existence. He was being so mean! But hindsight is quite the window-washer, and as I look out of mine right now, surrounded as I am by a home and family that I love, I’ve learned to be a little more okay with No.
Because, really, all No is? Is a step to a greater Yes. All the trite answers and quick fixes I used to long for, they were just my efforts to feel whole by filling a hole. (Don’t be gross now.) Nos led me to New York City, to The Husband, to The Kid, to friendships and stories and this. The partnership that grace forges with me is not about trite answers and quick fixes; it’s about something so much bigger that I don’t even know the half of it yet. But I get glimpses: sometimes from a post with my Soul Sister, sometimes in a shared laugh with TH, sometimes over a shit-filled diaper, sometimes in the reflection of the Christmas lights in TK’s wondering eyes. All I know is that if it took No to get me here? I can live with that.