31 Days, 31 People
Day 26: SOPHIA

For a long while, I thought I wasn’t able to have kids. We weren’t trying to have kids, but we weren’t trying not to, either. Whether we could or could not have kids six or seven years into marriage just wasn’t a huge concern. We figured it would happen if it was supposed to and if not, we had a lot of beautiful nieces and nephews. Then one day, I was sick. I stayed sick for the better part of the following seven months.

I was a grumpy pregnant woman. I didn’t like the discomfort of that huge belly or the sickness. There were a few concerns along the way, we thought we lost her once, I had to stop running, they referred me to a neonatal specialist at one point because my stomach wasn’t getting big enough, then at week 38 they decided we should induce labor. Scheduling the delivery was awesome. I have that comparison now of well-planned labor versus total surprise to reflect upon.

March 14, 2005. Sophia Linda Newberry was born with nearly clear hair and big blue eyes. Perfectly healthy. You hear a lot of parents talk about their beautiful, amazing children and she is definitely that. But as a personal gratitude exploration, I reflect on some things that I didn’t expect to learn from her.

I learned way more than I expected about myself when I had Sophia. The biggest thing might be the realization of the depth I was capable of loving. I seriously thought I had some idea of what love was all about. I thought I had been in love as much as someone can be. Quite suddenly I had this awareness that deep, connected love might have been something of an atrophied muscle inside me. This love was different, it had more weight than anything I could have ever imagined. I wondered if experiencing loss throughout my life had somehow caused me to keep this depth of love protected and unshared. Sophia came along and unlocked this hidden door. What a crazy thing to realize about yourself, just how broken your ability to love might truly be.

Sophia is an amazing, unique kid. I am grateful for what she has taught me, not only the parts she was completely unaware of having taught me, but in her almost ten years, she has brought me so much laughter and light. Learning how to communicate with her, how to help her when she’s frustrated or hurt, and how to let her be exactly who she is, these are all lessons I am grateful for. It’s unexpected and amazing how much having a kid can teach you about who you are and what is truly important in this life. I don’t mean to imply that having a child is the important thing here, that’s not it. Sophia was the person that taught me that it’s important to let go, and be all-in when it comes to love. Being all-in allows the people and things that are good for you surface to the top, and the people and things that aren’t good for you to lose priority. The clarity of what is important takes over. Life can complicate the simplicity of this for us sometimes. For me, it was a child that brought me this clarity. It was Sophia.

Thank you Sophia. You continue teaching me some of the most important lessons life has to offer. You are a beautiful, brilliant light, I am grateful for you in every way. I love you.



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