At dinner the other night, my young son announced that we all had a certain fate awaiting us, and it was pointless to try and diverge from it. He said this in reference to the relief he felt that his mother and I had decided, oh so long ago, to settle down and get married. Not that any other thought should have occurred to us, seeing as how we were in his mind destined to be with one another forever. What choice did we have?
It is interesting now, after having known my wife for almost thirty years, imagining how things could have turned out any differently. All of those seemingly random bits of chance and coincidence may have simply been preordained. The circumstances of our friendship, courtship and eventual marriage are all now a matter of public record. The magic that was afoot was simple but elegant. It made so much sense, as the rest of our friends would go on to point out.
Even the birth of our child was a matter of practical concern. When my father died, there was room for another Donald Caven. As I have pointed out on occasion, there was already a parking space with his name on it, so why not go ahead and fill it?
If I am to go along with my son's determinism, then I would have to surrender to the inevitability of what happens next. Whether or not everything happens for a reason isn't really the point anymore. Everything happens for a purpose, as Voltaire would tell us, in this best of all possible worlds. The fact that we didn't name our son Candide seems to be our only failing. But even that, he would tell us, was meant to be.