Would I still have taken the same path had I known its destination?

Every now and then I find myself thinking about life and how strange it is, how you think you’re heading in one direction then the course veers and you go with it, unsure at first, slowly taking steps until you get comfortable and break into your stride. 

When I was 20, I was told I would never have children. At the time, I was kind of unsure what that meant. I was too young to know if I even wanted children, so I went on with life just thinking it would never happen. And then, it did.

If I had known then what was in store would I have still walked that same path? If I had known when I was pregnant with the girls that our story would look like this, would I have still excitedly ripped open that envelope, telling me I was having girls?

If I had known about Ella’s cerebral palsy, about the worry, the uncertainty, the appointments, the equipment, would I have walked through those NICU doors with my head held high every day?

If I had known I’d be doing it on my own, with a broken heart and semi broken spirit, would I have kept going? If I had known about the exhaustion that seeps into my bones every night, the dark circles under my eyes, the stretch marks, the loneliness, the worry, the sense of loss, would I have just laid down and refused to move?

Every now and then I wonder. I wonder if I would have thrown in the towel, waved the red flag, conceded defeat. But, I know the answer. Of course if I had known, I would have kept going, through the thickness, pushing aside the thorns that scraped and cut, moving forward through the fog, squinting to see the light, because I know the light. The light is my three curly haired children. The light is singing songs and reading stories and watching them grow, no matter what unexpected challenges this path throws our way. The light is looking at little people and knowing I did that. I made them. I was there and I’m here and I will be here. The light is hearing their excitement when I come home from work. The light is the giggles and hugs and the sassy looks and the cute outfits.

Would I have kept going had I known then? Will I keep going now? Despite the occasional look over my shoulder, my sword is at the ready, and we soldier on. If only then I had known how different love can be I would have skipped down the path, eagerly awaiting today, tomorrow, and the next day.

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