Miracles over time

Ad astra, per aspera.

A few years ago a baby was born. And soon another.

I was terrified. 

So began my greatest (ongoing) adventure. The freefall into motherhood and later single motherhood has been even more thrilling than skiing off a short cliff in St. Moritz while showing off.

I’ve so often cracked the sorry joke, “It’s a miracle my kids aren’t ax murderers,” I believe it. You see, I was not born into an equipping family towards encouraging motherhood and peace. The constellation of my birth was an angry fearful bitter painful swirl of junk heaped upon four children doing their best. I am not alone in this.

So it is no small miracle those two babies grew up into such people of life and verve and hope and perfect comic timing. They lead and love and are willing to keep learning – adding to their toolboxes. They forge ahead, stagger back afoot, and bring people with them through the brambles and the brush of living. These are imperfect people who feast at the banquet which is life and invite others to the table.

Madi and Kenan have taught me the truth of miracles over time.

Most parents, I’d guess, can speak of miracles over time. The announcement is made – a baby will be born – and soon potty training, first dates, driver’s licenses, prom, graduation, and beyond. Then the kids do crazy things like volunteer at an inner-city garden for kids or help a hefty friend get fit at o-dark-30 in the mornings. Miracles of character and self-governing are revealed and they keep on coming.

If we are willing, we see miracles over time in sheltering trees once planted as tiny seedlings
Chicago rivers running clear after years of industrial and domestic pollution
Kids who adapt to succeed in school when their beautiful brains are wired for…SQUIRREL!
Dinner made
Mangled legs walking again after hundreds of hours of painful therapy
Joy after grief.

Sometimes we are able to witness miracles which arrive in instants.

In my life, miracles come over time.
After hard work
Making the coffee at 4 am to get started on a project before work
Taking risks
More failure
Asking for help
Embracing the imperfect real over the trumped up designer-new
Letting go of the outcomes
Learning to live light on my feet and agile
Loving fully after healing from violence and duplicity.

I learned this as a parent. From our kids.

Once I learned there was only room for one of us in their lives (and it wasn’t me), the miracles began.
When I learned we need not be perfect to be good*  at life, the best miracles began.

Good friends, new tools for the toolbox (shout out to “Parenting with Love & Logic” here), and humor-in-failure became the compost from which our sweetest miracles grew.

And they are still growing.

Daily we are met with what is unfair, destructive, soul-crushing, and blistering fractious.
Daily – in our derring-do – we overcome and press on towards something better. We plant seeds and seedlings of hope and integrity which – over time – grow into forests of great moments and life well lived.

Sometimes we let the destruction wash over us. We just cannot find our sword (or tank) to join the fight.

This is when our friends and family become the biggest miracles as they call out to us “grace” and love and light and hope. They help load the accumulated crap of our lives for the next dump run or hold our hair when we are sick.

These people – they are the miracles made over time.
Let them inspire your derring-do.
If we are fortunate fools, we may inspire too.


* “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”― John Steinbeck, East of Eden

See below for my favorite miracles. They just keep amazing.

kenan madi graduation   kenan graduates 05082015

4 thoughts on “Miracles over time

  1. Awe AL, this is true, beautiful, and makes my chest puff out with happiness and pride for you and because of you. You have always been a good, kind and Loving Mum. One of the best I have ever been witness to. A cheerleader, a coach, an advocate, and a roll model, not just for Madi and Kenan…yet even for Moe and I.
    You have always been encouraging, loving, supportive, and honest with me for all your life. Thank You for bringing joy, laughter, Hope, FAITH and a sense of worth in my life, as well as in the lives of many. You are one of my biggest BLESSINGS in my life. I LOVE YOU Allie.


  2. This is like a beautiful little memoir, Allie. With all of the chaos and mass, there have been victories, and ultimately sanity. it is well with your soul.

    I pray for the day when we get to see the full-blown memoir. You help us all makes sense of our messed up worlds.


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