The idea of having kids always seemed like “that’s what people do.” People get married, have kids and probably get divorced. I know it sounds nihilistic, or negative at the least. However, that just seemed like the routine. I could see myself being a parent, but just as much, or more so, I could see myself never being a parent.
I spent 7 years as a children’s minister, dearly loving that time. I saw a variety of parents: the overprotective ones; the somehow bend-space-and-time parents who were everywhere with the early 2000’s version of a pinterest project in hand; the balanced ones; the waited so long in hope parents; and so many more. I marveled at them, their children and often took for granted the trust I’d been given to nurture their spiritual development. I too often judged them as I dealt with my own adolescence and teen years, wishing they had been different. I regret that.
In those years, I spent a great deal of time with children and in personal relationships that weren’t exactly what anyone would call healthy. Suffice it to say, that mixture ended up with my take on having kids as “what people do.” A more accurate description would be that’s “what other people do.” When friends would talk about wanting to be a mom one day, I couldn’t relate. An internal shrug of my shoulders resulted and an outwardly vocal, “ok.” Things started to change, albeit slowly, around 7 years ago.
The Monday after Thanksgiving in 2006, I went on the last first date I will ever have. It’s completely corny, but true. It’s another thing that I never thought would happen: a last first date. While I didn’t exactly talk about it, I was pretty sure that divorce would be in my future. I mean, when your mom, grandmother and great-grandmother had all been divorced; you begin to think, maybe, it’s in the blood. (It was most certainly in the familial habits of relationship.)
A couple months before that Monday, my best friend and I had one of our Thursday girl nights. We’d drink wine, watch Grey’s Anatomy, talk shop (church) and complain about dating. Sound familiar? Eventually, she talked me in to signing up for match.com. My response was basically, let’s get a few meals and meet a few jerks. That really was my state of mind. The idea of meeting someone I’d actually like, much less had the social and life skills I finally understood were necessary in a mate, became a joke. I went to that first date without much trying. Seriously, I wore khaki pants, a denim jacket and dansko clogs. It wasn’t exactly a come-hither look. Nick looked nice, even prepared (!), with his button down shirt and dress pants. We talked for hours and sipped wine. Little did I know that this one date would change my life so fully. In seven years, I’ve fallen in love, managed to learn more about who I am as an individual, grow a strong marriage and, eventually, get pregnant. Here’s to a life journey I never thought would happen and one I didn’t think I deserved. Little baby, you’ve already got a big life to come into!