We’ve examined all the evidence, talked to multiple doctors, and made the decision for Lucia to have a minor, preventive procedure next week. But given that nearly every one of Lucia’s surgeries, despite its long-term success, has resulted in substantial consequences and complications, no decision ever seems so minor, no surgery decision ever completely or clearly obvious or secure.
When I was a kid, I used to think that being adult meant that when you made decisions you made them because you knew what to do–because you could distinguish between right and wrong, good and bad in the way one prunes the dead branches from an otherwise life-filled tree or discards bruised and rotting fruit.
But now I know how fully such conviction is an often sought after but fairly elusive luxury. Perhaps it’s that way for every parent but the stakes seem so much higher where you’re tracking in an autoimmune deficiency, aspiration risks, and surgeries.
But I think I find this so hard because I’m an 8 (on the enneagram). I make decisions swiftly, like it’s my job. In fact, it’s a job people often, with great, hearty, thankful sighs, outsource to me. I’m proud of my forthright and decisive nature, because it contributes to my vision. I can often see very clearly the path forward when others are still hemming and hawing over the myriad of options.
But I do not enjoy one bit playing God with my daughter’s comfort, life, future, and pain.
I really wish there was someone to outsource all of that to.
But then I’d be someone else’s parent and she’d be someone else’s child. And she’s my conviction, all twenty-three pounds of her is what motivates every excruciating decision and prayer and hope and risk.
Because when it comes down to it, complacency and inaction and passivity are all luxuries as well. As Mary Oliver so starkly put it, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
At my bravest and perhaps most decisive, I realize that Lucia is already living this life, and we are merely striving to find the conviction to live it just as fully with her. So we strive to outsource the burden of those decisions to God so the weight of them, whatever they may be and whatever may come, feels just a bit lighter. We decide to live each day with conviction, because perhaps it’s not so scarce after all or just reserved for big decisions. Perhaps conviction lies in embracing the everyday moments that compel us to see just how blessed we are to live this life with Lucia and one another.