perfectionism

Out of the Womb and Into Life

Third in a series.                                                                                                                       I’m letting our Picture a Conversation cards inspire this ongoing essay series. We found this little cactus flower family at the Mund’s Wagon trail head in Sedona 

I’m under the wire for this week’s post. And with good reason. There’s a new bud in our family. Born Wednesday afternoon Leah Florence, our second grandchild and second granddaughter, has a cap of black feathery hair, eyes of indiscriminate color and looks exactly like her big sister did as a newborn.  Swaddled tightly, her petals hidden within, Leah is pure potential. A lifetime of unfurling awaits her. Her sweet body, still conforming to the curves of her first home, is just beginning to unfold. 

At this moment, her life is scripted within her parents’ and grandparents’ hearts and dreams and yes, by the Divine’s plan for this sweet little soul. Come Saturday when all are safely home from the hospital, Leah’s relationship with her big sister will finally begin. They will choreograph their own dance of love and rivalry, worship and protection, vying and sharing, stepping on one another toes and engaging in the life-long pas de deux of sisterhood.  The sweet chattering voice Leah has heard for months through watery depths will be one she will follow and resist and then follow again. The page is blank, the score yet to sound, the steps un-notated. It is the perfection of an as-yet-to-be-lived life.

When I was a teenager, I came across a quiz in a magazine titled, “Are you a perfectionist?” No, I thought to myself, I am not. Because if I were, I would be perfect. I would know what to do, I would never make anyone angry. I would study harder and get perfect grades. Back then I thought perfectionists had it all figured out in a way I never would. We are so hard on ourselves until we realize that perfection is for circles not humans. 

The decades have taught me that dark moments, awful things, and utter messes are perfect opportunities to grow and learn. There are no perfect children nor perfect parents. Instead we walk paths, together and separately, that give us perfect moments to summon and share love. Yesterday’s frustration begets today’s patience. Last week’s scribbling on the wall becomes next month’s framed artwork.  A boundary crossed inspires restraint come the next intersection. It feels anything but perfect. But it is. Because going in circles, even perfect ones, gets us nowhere. We are born to move forward.
And moving forward often requires struggle.  What is childbirth but the universal struggle that brings forth precious life?

Welcome to the world, dear sweet Leah Florence. May your joys be great; may your struggles bring strength; may life embrace you with unending love.  Grandpa and I cannot wait to meet you.   Aviva

 

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