Accidental Love

My firstborn was due on Valentine’s Day of 2007. I was 23 years old and scared to death. She made my life what it is today. And not in simply the “kids change your life” kind of way. More along the lines of, “oh shit. I’m pregnant” kind of way. I went into false labor that day. But she didn’t come until the 16th.FullSizeRender 2

{Emerson Diane Parker, Born February 16, 2007}

When I was 22 I had a course, a direction. I had a notion of my career and my future. I was the perfect example of giving God a good chuckle by telling him your plans. Job, boyfriend, social life… it was all going the way it should be. But I was restless at 22 as well. I was not easily satisfied and my appetite for more, and better, and different was hard to satiate. My boyfriend was becoming increasingly settled and wanted the same from me. He was/is a wonderful man, but I struggle with wonderful. So predictable!

We took a break and I found myself embroiled in a new and exciting tryst with my co-worker. And suddenly I was pregnant.  It was as abrupt as that. Let’s not get caught up in the details – I forgot to take my pill once or twice, meh. Nothing had ever come of that before and I always attempted some kind of wait two days and drink the blood of a unicorn thing when that occurred. But I’m going to be totally up front here—I messed up.

In a matter of weeks I went from partying in Vegas with my girls to preparing to move in with said co-worker. Life flipped a big ol’ bitch and I knew things would never be the same again. To describe the fear and frustration and excitement of the next few months wouldn’t be possible. It feels like a different version of me lived back then. But this kid was coming and I was going to figure out how to deal. Even then I was a tough girl.

You know when something bad happens and you just sit there wishing it were a year from now? Wishing yourself into your future hoping things are better there? I did that night after night for months. Scrutiny from others, insecure about co-worker’s feelings and unsure of my own. Would I even be a good mother? I had almost no one around me to look to for an example. It was a tangled nest of emotions for a while. And then she came.

Emerson Diane Parker is the single miracle of existence who brought me to a life I love. Without her I wouldn’t be married to co-worker (Vic, my love), I wouldn’t have my other miracle, Finley. I wouldn’t have my sister/friend Brenda. I wouldn’t have Christmas mornings with a family I have come to love dearly. I wouldn’t have nightly family readings of children’s books. Wouldn’t be 32 with a 9 year old. Wouldn’t have beat my sister to ONE THING in life—children. Love you, Tia.

Not to mention what a joy she is. Let’s be real here—she is 9. She is awkward and not so funny, but thinks she is very funny. She is pre-teen and emotional. But most of the time she is unequalled in her loving, caring and thoughtfulness. She is an artistic young woman. She cares for her brother. She makes him feel better when no one else can. She doesn’t care about winning. She cares about creating. She wants to be friends with the whole world and she cries if she thinks you aren’t happy with her. I don’t think I have ever seen her throw a fit. In short, she was the perfect first child to a couple of unsure, scared, but loving kids.

This was perhaps the first experience of mine that solidified my deep belief in reacting to your situation with grace and strength. If you can look at what you’ve been handed square in the face and find the beauty in it, find the path right through it, you can thrive. Vic and I had a winding road to marriage. That did not happen quickly or painlessly. I owe a lot to his wisdom in that regard. He did not want to get married simply because of a child. He wanted strong love. And we fought to get there. I had to bend a lot and so did he. And I can safely say that we are a happily married couple now.

What you thought you wanted and what you get are more often than not different. Roll with that shit, people.

My life is not perfect, but I have to say, it is fabulous. She, of course, has no idea what she did. How she rocked my world to the core and changed my trajectory in such a distinct and immediate way. I look forward to telling her someday. And blowing her mind.



Hi, I'm Shannon. I like to write about tough girls and tough things because I find strength to be an interesting and inspirational topic. My husband, Vic is my favorite person and my children, Emerson and Finley are right up there too. I am a disability mother and advocate. A woman-loving, lean-in type. And a fitness coach and cheerleader.

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One thought on “Accidental Love

  1. You are such an amazing example of not only owning a situation, but finding the beauty in it as well. I just love you!

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