Against all odds

When–at sixteen–you lie in a gown on a railed bed and labor to bring forth a life, the stakes are high.  In between peaks on the monitor you notice the sideways glances of nurses.  You can almost hear the judgements running through their heads–the disapproving sighs they stop just short of.  When–at sixteen–you watch that second pink line creep across that tiny window, already the odds are stacked in opposition.

My pink line made all the difference.  Like the Almighty Hand through Moses’ staff, it parted a sea wherever I went.  The telling bulge of my teenage belly was my own modern day leprosy.

There are good reasons for all the support groups and outreach programs; I don’t discount that.  But eligibility for them is like a stamp on your forehead: doomed to fail.

I was opening mail at the kitchen counter last week when I came across the letter.  Congratulations it said.  Your daughter’s accumulated GPA qualifies her to graduate with Honors.  It’d be a lie of omission if I didn’t own up to tears–happy ones.  Because hers is an altogether different kind of eligibility.

I was in the parking lot of Trader Joe’s days later when she texted me a picture.  The orders were delivered and she couldn’t wait to try it on.


It’s most definitely her accomplishment.  But a little bit mine, too.

{Just Write}

16 Replies to “Against all odds”

  1. I think you’re absolutely right: it’s her accomplishment, but you own a tiny piece of it too. What a lovely post.

    1. It’s no small accomplishment, for sure. I’m glad about that we both did it, too! {insert virtual high five here}

  2. This is a beautiful post. You are a wonderful writer. I am so happy for you both, but maybe as a parent myself, just tiny bit more happy for you… even though, I only know you both from your beautiful writings here in this blog. I love your honesty. It is raw at times which I love and very rare. Oh so very rare. Thank you. So proud you deserve to be!

  3. This is beautiful. And proof that statistics and stereotypes and all those things, they’re just that. They don’t define or predispose. You and your beautiful daughter are proof.

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