He was as planned as planned could be. As a child of assisted fertility, every phase of his conception was watched closely, scheduled down to the minute. When he divided into eight cells, I got to see him under an electron microscope, my eyes wide with wonder as I realized I could tell him about this someday.
Since he was going to be a second c-section for me, I got to plan the date of his birth. We chose Veteran's Day, because it was a holiday for my husband and he wouldn't have to use vacation time. That morning, we headed to the hospital, reading magazines and whiling away the time. They ended up getting backed up by an emergency, and it was noon before they took me in to the operating room. Soon I heard an angry wail, and a warm little bundle was laying on my chest. I stared into his deep, brown eyes and marveled at his ten perfect fingers and ten perfect toes. He popped into the world just as planned, where he'd be welcomed by his adorable big sister, just as planned. He'd have a wonderful life where he'd be a football star or a doctor or a teacher or world class snowboarder, just as planned.
That's what you get for trying to plan something like life, I guess.
He didn't roll over at four months, as planned. He didn't crawl at six months, as planned. He didn't walk at one year, as planned. He didn't even get a first tooth as planned, waiting till he was nearly fifteen months old.
He didn't talk as planned. He didn't show interest in the things other kids did, as planned. I panicked, of course, and when they told me he had autism, I panicked again. I threw myself into working with him endlessly, relentlessly, determined that he'd hit all those developmental markers as planned, or as close to being planned as we could get them. I worried a lot. Then one day, I finally realized that his life was going to be on his terms, and that was, strangely enough, working out just fine for him.
With a little guidance and a lot of backing the hell off, he's blossomed into this amazing, smart, funny, incredibly giving kid with perseverance skills that will see him through the rest of his yet unplanned but wonderful life. You'll notice I didn't say "uncertain." Just unplanned. It's certain that David will live life with gusto, to its fullest degree, being the best he can be with every minute he's got. How that will flesh out exactly is a mystery at times, but an exciting one, not a frightening one.
Watching him has made me apply those principles to my own life. It's not uncertain. Just unplanned, and that's a good thing. A very good thing. Peace of mind, all because of the boy who didn't turn out anything like I'd planned.
I'm so incredibly thankful for that, and I always will be. Happy 9th birthday to my beloved David. Unplanned, and wonderful.
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