The Sum Of My Parts

be strongFourteen years ago I was a single girl working my ass off as an attorney in LA when I was contacted out of the blue by a guy I knew from high school.

Ten years before, we’d had one of those crazy flings at a high school reunion that you might read about in one of those um, mommy novels. We saw each other a couple of times after the big weekend, but we lived 2000 miles apart and were both starting professional careers. We didn’t speak for almost 10 years.

Flash forward 10 years and many boyfriends later, and this guy decides that he’s ready to settle down. He knows what he wants in a woman and he remembers that he even knew one once. 😉 Cue the harps….

His timing happened to coincide with a Christmas trip I had planned to the Northwest to visit my family in 1999. It also coincided with several near misses I had connecting with other boyfriend material at the time. Yup, the stars started lining up.

By May of 2000, we were engaged and by June 2000, my beloved had sold his house, packed up his three cats and joined my in my 900 square foot high rise apartment in Marina del Rey with my two cats. That was a crazy time.

Soon we were pregnant. And then we weren’t. And then we were pregnant again. And then we weren’t. The third time we got to 14 weeks and went through a heart-wrenching miscarriage that involved a four day hospital stay. We decided to make a plan to run off to Maui to get married. Both our mothers had passed away at that point and our Dads didn’t seem to mind that we wanted to skip any big wedding.

On our one year anniversary – December 21, 2000 – we got married in a beautiful ceremony on Maui. It was a happy time.

A year later (as I sit here and calculate, it might have been exactly a year), we got pregnant again. We were going to have a baby in late Summer.

Suddenly our one bedroom apartment with the five cats started looking untenable. We did what any couple would do, especially at that time when the real estate market was heating up and loans were easy to come by. We started looking for a house. And then the unthinkable happened.

In early May, I started having problems with my pregnancy. We put a call in to my beloved OB-GYN (who teased me mercilessly for seeking her out as a high-risk pregnancy specialist because I was “only” 40 years old), who told us to hightail it to the hospital.

Daddy & Daughter In The UCLA NICUI was in the hospital for 10 days. Many good things happened there and a few unfortunate events transpired. All led to the birth of my beautiful daughter on May 10, 2002. She was 13 weeks early and weighed two pounds, five ounces. I’ve written about her birth before. In another coincidence (anybody see a pattern here??), my daughter was born on what would’ve been my deceased mother’s 60th birthday.

Oh, I forgot to mention that while I was in the hospital, our offer on a house was accepted and my two new business partners were fighting. There were a few things going on.

As always happens, things sorted themselves out. We closed on our house one week before Zoe came home from the hospital and the business partners split up. Fortunately, and notwithstanding my new mommy brain fog, I chose to go with the partner who had the technology. That relationship grew into one of the high points of my life. I’ve always joked that she and I went on a blind date, and then ran off and eloped.

Apparently I have a high tolerance for risk. Or I know good things when I see them. Or both. 😉

We had a great ride with that company. We were literally just one of a handful of companies offering the technology to real estate agents and brokers to bring MLS databases to their websites to woo Internet consumers. It was a heady time on the wild wild web.idxlogo_inner

Sadly, real estate runs in 10 year cycles. Who knew? Certainly not me at the time. And we had had little success getting agents and brokers to understand the beauty of this IDX thing before the then current cycle ran out. Sometime in 2007, we were forced to shutter the project. I was bereft.

Of course, at the same time, my little baby was starting kindergarten. That’ll consume a girl’s attention. Suddenly I found myself by accident (again with that coincidence thing!) submersed, immersed and totally taken with the humanistic education movement. Wow! A movement where kids are treated like humans. When our beloved charter school closed (I can’t even bear to tell the story – evil LAUSD….), I spent two years working to launch a replacement school. Sigh.

Twist, turn, stumble, pivot. Zoe took one for the team in a neighborhood public school for a year, but then got to spend two years in a beautiful, nurturing radical “unschooling” environment. She’s since transferred to humanistic charter school, where I like to joke she can stay until college.

life is good 2So why all the reflecting now? Change is upon me and for quite possibly the first time in my life, I am stepping up and assertively charting my course. Don’t get me wrong. My life of coincidences has been damned cool and I’m a-ok with how it’s shaped up. But I’m also really excited to be looking at life and saying out loud where I’m going.

My husband impressed me 14 years ago by proclaiming out loud that he was going to come find me and settle down. That worked out pretty good for him (for the most part 😉 ).

So, follow along on my new adventure? Here’s what I’m up to.

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