Lately, I find myself thinking about the moment when everything changes. There are those gradual buildups that you can look back on and see a slow evolution to a new reality. Things like your kid learning to talk. Odd noises lead to persistent babble become repeated monosyllables turn to words.
But those aren’t the times I have been dwelling on. I keep coming back to the few instances in my life when there was a distinct “before” and “after.” The times when my life after that moment were a complete departure from what came previously.
There was the time I went to a college orientation meeting and sat down next to a stranger. Prior to that day I was a single young adult. After I sat down, the new guy and I talked and spent the rest of the day starting a friendship. A week later we started dating; five years passed and we got married. There is a sharp distinction for me of my life before Greg and my life after I met him. In that one moment, in that decision to be uncharacteristically bold, my directionality altered.
Then there was the day my son was born. There is a clear instant that rises up through the haze of labor and delivery. There was a moment when I got to hold my baby and wish him a happy birthday. Before that day we were two people with a dog who could make and change plans at the drop of a hat. After he took a breath, we became a family of three, and my life became fuller in a way I did not expect.
A few weeks ago I took a test that changed things again. Before we were three, now, we’re a family of four.