Life is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. What is going on, what is growing and resting and straining, is so much more than we can ever know — and even that is only one face of life, one side of a door.
Life contains so much, and is yet itself wrapped up in much more. Frankly, thinking of an unknowable and unchangeable future simultaneously bores and frustrates me. My devotion to the ideal of free will, however, leaves me with a stark reflection at the end of 32 years: so little in our lives is freely chosen, and that which is inside the sphere of "choice" is usually not what you think it is. Children, for example, are often lumped into "chosen" or "a surprise." Yet despite willfully pursuing pregnancy, my wife and I felt very little sense of control over any of the things that happened in the last year. Now that we have our baby, the baby we "chose" to have, I can't help wondering if anything would have been at all different with a "surprise" baby, a scenario several friends are facing.
Looking into the eyes of my newborn daughter, I am beginning to understand that in many parts of life—not all, but many—the choice is not what (or even whom) but how. Is it even fair to say that my wife and I chose each other? Whatever your take on that, we (eventually) chose to welcome each other into a new life—further up, further in.
I did not choose my daughter, but I have chosen to welcome her into my life, and I must welcome her again each day. Pooping, screaming, vomiting, and smiling. In time, she will welcome us into her life (or not) in a different way. Our life: beginning, continuing, day by day, together.