How Do You Define Perfect?

How Do You Define Perfect?

Tricky, isn’t it. My idea of perfect has morphed over the years and for the better, I think. I was always uncomfortable with the phrase “as long as it’s healthy.” Even in my pre mother years, this made me feel hesitant and biting my lip. Perhaps I had watched a very sick brother struggle a year and in seeing him not healthy, I still recognized his value and worth as a person. Life is not perfect I learned fairly early and I think that swayed my mind for flexibility in defining perfection and my own expectations in the reality of life that strikes us all sooner or later.

Ten fingers and ten toes. A friend shared that her father claimed that as his own definition of perfection when her son was diagnosed with a chromosomal disorder a few minutes after birth. How I adore his reaction. In a world where we are on alert for gloom and doom with prenatal testing and diagnostic ultrasounds, what a gulp of fresh air especially from a father to daughter. We live surrounded by social portraits of idyllic families smiling brightly, perfect in every way. I get it. Mine looked like that too before Amos came along. Almost too good to be true but it wasn’t. Life now is too good to be true, even in the drowning struggle, we choose to rise to the surface and gulp the air, breathe and swim, always rising above our circumstances.

As time travels on, our networks widen and we see the imperfections of life in our daily reflections of the glare of life. The years of friends getting married and having children have evolved into friends losing children or spouses and the travails that follow age, as our parents grow older. “As long as it’s healthy” seems less and less important or crucial as you see the gambling that comes with the embracing of the realities of life. Perfect in their imperfection.

Early Alzheimer’s, autism, Down Syndrome, cancer, none fall under the neat and tidy column of perfect. If life was the manufactured list we created in our minds, how shallow we would be. Though I struggle and acknowledge the hardship, the days that seem unconquerable, I choose to love and seek joy even when I am weighted with heartache. I would rather dive into the deep unknown with the risks of chance than spend a lifetime floundering in the shallows of life’s safety net. A perfect life in my imperfect mind.

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