Heather’s essay, “Surrendering to Uncertainty,” appears in The Atlantic. Here’s a sneak peek:
The RNA molecule that causes COVID-19 contains just 15 genes and is responsible for shutting down schools, businesses, weddings, funerals. That our lives could get thrown upside down by something so small seems absurd. But I’m accustomed to my world getting upended by a handful of genes. Eight years ago this spring, I was told my nine-month-old baby would maybe walk someday or maybe not. She might talk someday, or she might not. My daughter has Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a rare condition caused by a genetic deletion in her fourth chromosome, a nonhereditary, could-happen-to-anybody hiccup at the cellular level. In raising her, I’ve learned to embrace uncertainty. And now I notice it in everything. As the pandemic overturns what we thought we knew about our future, we are invited to surrender to a life free of expectations.