Friday, March 21, 2008

Improbability Drive

I have been thinking a lot about fate, chance, and likelihood. What happened to my baby was a statistical long shot. Like winning the lottery. But my life has had a few of those.

I quit grad school to travel. I went to Ireland. I had never been anywhere, and Ireland had always been on the top of my list. At the same time, a lunatic Swiss man, to whom I am now married, also quit his job and traveled to Ireland. Throw in two German students (one with incredibly smelly socks. He had brought only his grandfather's old doctor's bag as luggage. There was no room for actual clothes in the bag; only the big fat textbook, which I never saw him open. He was supposed to be studying for his med school exam the following week. The other one was studying psychology. He watched us intently and took a lot of notes.), some burnt toast, a bicycle and an abandoned chicken wing in the bottom of an oven all did their magic to push us closer and closer together. Ok, there was a large pile of Swiss chocolate involved, too.

So there we were, together against all odds, working for small change in Ireland. The job was seasonal, though, and come October, we had no income, and no way to get back to Switzerland either. We were considering *gasp* borrowing money from his mom! So what to do, what to do? Hmmmm. Win the Lotto. No, I'm not kidding. We didn't win the jackpot, but we did win what was the largest fiver in history at that point- 1,304 Irish Pounds. Enough to get back to Switzerland.

And what are the odds of exactly the right sperm and exactly the right egg being released to make a certain child? Out of three hundred million sperm per ejaculation? And 400,000 eggs fighting for release? And we have the three most perfect girls. And then there's poor Douglas, dead at 49. What were the chances of that? Just before the sperm whale and the bowl of petunias hit the ground, the bowl thinks "oh, no. Not again."

And there it is. I must accept the long odds, just like the bowl of petunias, whether in my favour or not. I know Douglas Adams was an atheist; but I am going to indulge in the fantasy that my wishy-washy watered-down vaguely christian upbringing prompts. I am going to picture my little boy in heaven, making Douglas Adams laugh, and vice versa.


Robin S. said...

Hi MR,

Paca sent me over to read your fate post with a link from his latest blog post, and I'm glad he did.

Those of us who aren't satisfied, when we're young, with the status quo of staying the same, have the best fate stories, hands down. Yours is wonderful.

Life's a funny old puzzle, isn't it?

Mother (Re)produces. said...

It is that. I still have days when I wander aimlessly looking for someone wearing an "I'm responsible" T-shirt so I can kick 'em, but most days I just try to shut-up and write. :)

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