selfie via

We sat in the waiting room surrounded by other kids and their parents, all wearing the same look of apprehension.  We waited for someone, anyone, to step out from behind the sealed door, call our kid’s name, and usher us back into the inner sanctum of the surgeon’s offices. From the waiting area, I counted four doors, each leading to a doctor of a different specialty. Kids and weary parents streamed through them at regular intervals. My son needs a minor surgical procedure, and while slightly apprehensive, I wasn’t worried. Not really. Not when I heard them call a Code Blue over the intercom from the Outpatient Dialysis unit.

There is nothing like a visit to the Children’s Hospital to make you feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude for your kid’s good health. It can be guilt-inducing too, if you let it. I felt guilty for having a healthy kid, and even more guilty for feeling a deep sense of relief because of it.

We saw the surgeon, who told us that my boy’s problem has an easy fix. It’s a common issue that is present but often undetected at birth, and eventually it begins to show itself over time with growth and increased activity. Are you yawning yet? I could go into boredom inducing details, but I’ll spare you. It involves boy parts. Enough said.

What struck me most was the surgeon’s explanation that the issue originated at birth, and how sometimes it’s evident right away and other times it takes years for the patient to notice something  is not as it should be. I thought about this all the way home, wondering what I carry over from birth and childhood. What inborn characteristics exert a silent presence on my life? What qualities make themselves known over time? What’s making an appearance in my life today?

I thought of my obvious disability when it comes to understanding directions, maps, or geographical conundrums of any sort. This is clearly in-born, although it conveniently waited to arrive once I got my driver’s license. My love for stories started from the get-go, but my ability to write them didn’t show up until much later. Introversion on an epic scale showed up early on too, although I always considered this a serious flaw until I realized it’s just another way of being human. A sinful nature, specific fears, physical characteristics–all present and accounted for, all knit into the fiber of my being from the secret places.

But what of today? What is unraveling in me right now? What’s unraveling in you? I tend to dwell on the negatives, but I want to see the good too. I’m thinking of the lovely things, the honest, the pure and true and holy desires, the qualities that have the appearance of a major flaw until we recognize them for what they are: diamonds in the rough. I’m thinking of my deep desire to be known, our need to belong, her longing for significance, or your unwavering ability to fight and fight and fight for what’s right. (And I don’t mean the right to party, although I think the Beastie Boys might be on to something.)

I want to understand more, to look down and say, “Hey, I don’t remember seeing you there before, but you’re a part of me. Should I learn how to live with you or do you need fixing?” So much of what I think needs fixing–the deepest longings and desires birthed in the very core of me– requires something more akin to acceptance. Something like surrender.


What’s making its presence known in your life right now?