Miracles occur naturally as expressions of love. The real miracle is the love that inspires them. In this sense, everything that comes from love is a miracle.” ~ Marianne Williamson


Today we woke up to find great news in our inbox. My brother Jeff and his wife Pamela were in the hospital ready to have their third child. Since they already have two boys, we were wondering if a son would be born on a Sunday. We wondered if the stork we saw perched on the dock post the previous day was a sign that a special delivery was on the way.

During Asher’s naps, Alyssa and I are trying to squeeze in some daily exercise and reading, and I thought how fitting it was that I am reading a book on natural history titled Ever Since Darwin by Stephen Jay Gould. It is turning out to be a fascinating read but what I found ironic was that I just finished a chapter discussing the infinitesimally minute odds that any of us, including the newest Slee, even came to be. Ali Binzair from Harvard University has tried to actually estimate the odds (for explanation of the numbers you can read his article).

Probability of boy and girl meeting: 1 in 20,000

Probability of same boy and girl conceiving a child: 1 in 2000
Probability of right sperm meeting right egg: 1 in 400 quadrillion
Probability of every one of your ancestors reproducing successfully: 1 in 10
Probability of your existing at all: 1 in 10

That is 10 with almost 3 million zeros after it!

For those of you who do not like numbers, this Buddhist version of “precious incarnation” may paint a good picture.

Imagine there was one life preserver thrown somewhere in some ocean and there is exactly one turtle in all of these oceans, swimming underwater somewhere. The probability that you came about and exist today is the same as that turtle sticking its head out of the water — in the middle of that life preserver. On one try.”

A short while later we found out that our new addition is in fact a boy, Brayden Anthony Slee. Brayden, like all of us, beat the odds. We literally are walking miracles.

As if the Stork wasn’t enough, when Asher was deep in his afternoon sleep, we heard four referee whistles which counted in a marching band that filled the entire road as far as you could see. Asher shot out of his sleep but did not fuss. We rushed over to see more than two hundred high school students dressed in their uniforms and playing in a marching band. They had come from high schools all over Honduras to play in a band competition on the island. The talent was unbelievable. When they were not jamming tight polyrhythms, they were dancing well choreographed steps. Each of the twelve bands took a turn playing then all of the bands combined in one massive drum circle. With Asher on my shoulders and Alyssa snapping photos, we all danced in the street to the heart thumping bass drums. Somehow the island knew it was a day to celebrate.

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Go forth and live life knowing it is a miracle. Congratulations Swiss Family Slee and welcome aboard baby Brayden. You found the life preserver.


5 thoughts on ““Son”day

  1. Jim,
    great post! Thanks for sharing.
    Hope all is well. Enjoy your trip with your presious family.

    The Swiss Slee Family


  2. As GrandMa to new precious Brayden Anthony I am in awe of the miracle of a birth and as you put it so well the outstanding odds that any of us came to be. I remember thinking that when I had my suns. Could there be any greater miracle than bringing forth life. Pamela did an awesome job with the delivery and Jeff was there by here side. How wonderful for Brayden to see his two loving parents when he took his first breath on earth.
    The drums and marching bands truly celebrated this great day! Hugs to you all.


  3. Many congratulations to the Swiss family Slee!! Wishing you all of life’s great blessings that come with the birth of a new little one.
    Great post Jim. It really is amazing to contemplate the incredible odds that we have all beaten just to walk this planet!
    Asher looks sweet and content and I really miss him. Give him kisses and hugs from Grandma.
    Love you all,


  4. Team Slee wants to welcome our new addition to the family. Brayden Anthony Slee. Mikey and Tessa can’t wait to meet their new cousin. We are all so excited for you Jeff and Pamela sending our love.

    team Slee


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