Did we really choose?
I used to parent (which, by the way, it’s so weird to use ‘parent’ as a verb) based on this premise…
As parents, we made a choice to bring a child into the world. It wasn’t Rory’s (our daughter's) choice. So now it’s up to us to make this life as good of an experience as we can for her.
But now I’m wondering...
Did we really choose?
I mean, wow… Talk about pressure, the notion that my wife and I MADE this girl and now we have to make sure that every day is good for her.
First of all, after seven and a half years, it’s apparent that this is an impossible endeavor. She’s had plenty of bad days. So we’ve already failed more times than we can count.
But I mean, really?… Was it our choice?
Yes, Alex and I had a conversation. We agreed that we were now open to having a baby. We adjusted our lifestyle accordingly and BAM, she showed up as a living detectable human-looking thing inside the body of Alex quicker than we expected. It was like, okay, guys, here I am.
But I’m starting to question the entire notion of free will. Where did that ‘decision’ come from? What prompted Alex and me to be like, let’s do this (and think of how many countless people don’t say let’s do this and little humans show up anyway).
Perhaps the thought didn’t come from us. Because what does that even mean, ‘from us’? What part of us is ‘us’?
Maybe the thought was zapped to us and, like automatons, we followed its command thinking we were the ones who thought it first.
Maybe you and I are not the original authors of our choices. Maybe we’re just responding to impulses beyond anything that we can comprehend. Maybe we’re at the whim of this God, oversoul, outside intelligence (or whatever you want to call it) that pings us with commands whenever it wants.
Predestination scares me. I don’t want to think that anyone or anything else plays a deciding role in anything in my life. But if free will is as questionable as I’m now thinking it is, I don’t have to feel solely responsible for curating the perfect life for my daughter (or for myself or anyone else). I don’t have to be her god and pave the way for her entire life.
Even though she still has me under her thumb, I can breathe a bit easier now. Neither she nor I (nor her mom) are God. Perhaps surrendering into that is where the good stuff is.
There’s so much grace in that.