On the day you were born

For the first time in a long time, I have know quite a few people expecting babies this summer.  It's had me thinking lots about birth stories.  When a parent shares a story that starts "on the day you were born" magic happens.

It is not because babies always arrive in a planned-down-to-the-last detail way.  Birth is one of the few places were we let a beginning take care of itself.  Babies know when they should be born.  They know even when we think that conditions are not as perfect as they should be to welcome a new little person.

Some things are within our control, and most things are not.  Birth reminds us that miracles happen on days when the computer crashed and three people let us down and we were frustrated or struggling.  Babies don't ask whether their parents and all significant others are in the appropriate mood with all the appropriate arrangements made. They arrive according to their own schedule.

I wonder what that could mean for other kinds of birth.  We bring events and projects and companies into being and we often stress about getting the beginning exactly right.  We tell presenters that people remember first impressions, and that is true.  It is also true that badly planned, badly executed beginnings make success more difficult.  They do not, however, prevent small miracles.

If you get to control a beginning, go for it.  If you don't get to control the mood or the weather or the technology, then remember what you would remember if you were holding a newborn. The world is full of miracles and every beginning is a new opportunity.  It doesn't have to be perfect. It already is.


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