Admitting I am Powerless

The first of the 12-steps has always been a challenge for me, although I’ve had plenty of lessons. Like when my daughter was born 17 years ago last week — in the wrong country, almost 2 months early. You’d think that physically experiencing my powerlessness, I would have gotten it…

Mind you, there were things I might have done differently. (see, there I go!) I certainly should not have taken a helicopter to a UNICEF meeting 6 months into my pregnancy. Whipped through the sky by the Bora, a fierce wind that blows across the Adriatic in the spring, was like riding a roller coaster. It was the only time in my pregnancy I threw up. I felt her tightly wound up inside of me, my stomach taut. I imagined her holding on to the umbilical cord for dear life as we lurched through the air. Or perhaps it was descending the 17 flights of stairs from my office to the safety of the garage every time Serb shells were lobbed into Zagreb that spring. Maybe if I hadn’t done those things…

Or it may have been Molly’s first declaration of independence, claiming her right to Italian residency, like the smart girl she is. In spite of all our best laid plans, even though we had  plane tickets to England and an apartment rented in Oxford, and a midwife ready to deliver her. Molly’s name is instead, forever inked into the registry of births in an impossibly picturesque town in the heel of Italy. My little (just shy of 5 lbs) premie Italian.  I admit I cannot control a boundless love for her.


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