Tuesday, May 09, 2006

A Leap of Love

Think of any wonderful thing that has happened to you. Then think of all the decisions that were made, by how many people, the logistics involved, the transactions that had to take place in what order, like dominoes falling in a one of those Guinness World record set ups, so to make what happened happen. Think of how if even one domino had been moved an inch it would have missed the next and everything else would have been altered and you might have taken a different path in life, might have had a different family, a different home, possibly even different health. Possibly undesirable things had to take place, too. And as the story unfolded, so did you, for better and for worse, and now here you are.

My father took a job transfer when I was ten that rescued me from the New Jersey neighborhood where I was on the fast track to juvenile delinquency. Actually, the true delinquent was my friend Lucy, two years older, who wielded an uncanny ability to manuever me to her bidding as surely as if she had a remote control hidden in her pocket. It was Lucy who taught me, her 8 year old apprentice, to cover up my cigarette breath with Cheerios, to whisk baseball cards, earrings and tubes of white lipstick into my purse without being seen in the drugstore, to set trees on fire. The week we were leaving town, she introduced me to “this stuff called hash”.

But then we arrived in a small town outside of Dallas, Texas, where we enrolled in new schools and I encountered Baptists. And more Baptists. Which may be why Texas was well behind New Jersey in delinquency. They were all waiting for the Rapture. So my life went very differently than it would have though I have no way to compare the difference, and I think about this when I consider how we are about to move our 1st and 3rd graders-to-be across the country. In the end, will it have been a good choice? And how will we know if it was for better or for worse? We won’t.

The handprints the girls made on our front path will remain here. The prints made inside them by having been in this place will go with them. And so will our hope that things will be good enough there to have us believe this must have been the better choice.


Karen Miedrich-Luo said...

Do you remember that saying, "The one you choose is the chosen one?" That was about marriage, of course, but I suppose it could also be about paths. "If only" gets kicked around in the dust of my path a lot. And I often question the signposts; don't trust my directionally challenged self to even read them correctly. Somehow, though, it is an issue of trust. Not of the blind leading everyone into a ditch, but of a cloud by day and a light by night. Wandering, wondering fools.

Deeanne said...

How weird is this ... My dad got a job transfer when I was 13. I was plucked out of Texas--where I was smokin' and doin' whatever it took to please my friend--and dropped into New Jersey. A very small town in New Jersey.

I can remember my mom saying to me: "No one knows you here. They don't know anything about you. You are starting with a clean plate. Are you going to mess it up with junk food or are you going to put food that is good for you on it?"

I liked the idea of having that plate washed clean and starting all over. We lived there for barely a year, then moved back to Texas. But it was long enough. Long enough for me to discover the difference between eating good and eating junk.

Amazing how God cares about every detail of our lives, eh?

Allison said...

So much for my theory about the Bible Belt :)

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