Monday, March 22, 2010

What If.

Children are a miracle and a gift. This boring old worn out platitude doesn’t really resonate with me. Then I start thinking about the series of insane coincidences and miracles it has taken to get to this point. My apologies for the dime store amateur philosophizing here, but it boggles my mind to step back and consider just how unlikely my good fortune and wonderful life really is.

What if I had chosen to go to Cornell in New York instead of UT in Austin? Would I have ever met Shannon? Would the timing have been the same? What if I had taken that investment banking job in Dallas? I’m sure I would be wealthier, but at what cost?

What if my dad had never relocated from Alabama to Houston in the 1980’s? Where would I have ended up, and who would my friends have been?

What if my dad had never met my mom in the first place? What if the Sieber family line was wiped out in the Civil War, and ole Absalom Sieber didn’t make it through? What if Ogg Sieber, the cave man, had a lapse of attention one fine day, and a pterodactyl swooped down and pecked him to oblivion?

There are literally millions of tiny coincidences, bits of good fortune, and strange quirks of fate that have all combined and conspired to bring my little family together. Change even the smallest detail, and our unique and precocious little Mad Dawg is not here with us. Just think of the infinite number of never-conceived children who never get their day in the sun because someone didn’t meet the right person, someone fell asleep too early one night, or some cave man became a dino-snack? Everything is always hanging by a thread, and, yet, here we are.

What are the lessons in this?

First, playing ‘what if’ has completely changed. I can wonder about job choices or what I might have studied in college, but changing any of that would just ‘poof’ away my family, and it would never be worth it.

Secondly, I would advise anyone considering time travel to reconsider. Sure, I’ve thought about travelling back in time to warn Colt McCoy not to run that speed option play against Alabama, but the risk to the space time continuum is just too great. I recall the cautionary tale of the Back to the Future movies.

Finally, some might see the hand of divine intervention while others might see a nearly infinite combination of incredibly fortunate coincidences that conspired to give us our very lives and our precious loved ones. I’m not sure what the right answer is, but I do know enough to appreciate and try to never take for granted what I have. It’s surprisingly easy when I walk in the door and hear that little voice scream “DADAA”.


KuKd Chick said...

Chris, awesome post. Really, I've thought this so many times before - Kevin and I both have. What if we hadn't done this or that? We wouldn't have met, and so on. I, too, am a queen-basher of cornball platitudes like "children are miracles." Really? I mean, aren't there like 72 bazillion children in the world? They can't be THAT hard to come by.

I'd say: what's miraculous is the biology of how a sperm can meet an egg, and this sprawling lump of limbs/organs/torso/head can result from that in 10 short months, and emerge as a human who grows into an adult. I'm feeling that now, the miraculous-ness of that. Or maybe just plain astoundingness of it - what nature can do, how it works and functions.

And not taking for granted what you have. I think that's a great little moral of your story here. :-)

By the way, have you always had that hilarious line at the top of this blog, the one about being the internet's leading authority on the Sieber family? That's so ridiculous it made me laugh so hard I nearly spewed out ice water.

Traci M said...

I'm so glad you documented the important moral lesson provided in the "timeless" and respected work of art that is Back to the Future.