Parallel Pathways

Before the morning light, I sat in the stillness nursing our nine-month old, wondering at this life becoming before our eyes. Even with the sleepless nights, time has passed much too quickly.

My mind wanders to the other Mamas who are on parallel pathways. The ones who waited with us for an open delivery room, a thin curtain the only thing separating us. Our children share the same birthday. We shared the same timeline, the same recovery space. The same nurses tended to me and my baby as them and their babies. We shared this miraculous, mysterious moment of welcoming new life. This life-changing experience means our lives and our stories will always intersect.

But now we are on parallel pathways, living our separate lives. I wonder if their nine-month-olds are sleeping through the night. Have their babies started crawling yet, discovering and uncovering their independence as the move from one room to another? I wonder if that Mama who had twins on the same day has enough coffee. I pray for the Mama whose birth plan didn’t go as planned. Is the Mama whose baby was in the NICU, home yet?

As I move through the day, my eyes are a little more open.

I see the cars beside us.

They are in their lane.

We are in ours.

We are traveling parallel pathways.

Our lives probably won’t intersect unless the light changes to red and we both take a moment to glance at the person beside us.

Maybe it’s the parallel pathways that have convinced us that we are just passersby. Our decisions don’t impact the people around us. We can live our own lives the way we want to.

Maybe it’s the intersections that interrupt and disrupt those parallel pathways reminding us that all around us are people who are indeed in need of a connection. Maybe these intersections are a reminder that we are not alone in this world and that someone else is right there beside us trying to raise new life.