Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Seedlings of Hope

Yesterday Andrew and I enjoyed a day of family togetherness. It was a cool rainy day. We all slept in a little bit. As usual, Alexander and I got up first and did our normal diaper, nebulizer, breakfast routine. Knowing Andrew would be very sleepy I put on a pot of coffee and Alexander played a little bit. As I was waiting for the coffee to brew I looked out on the back porch. It looked and sounded very tropical rainforest with the large trees hanging over our porch and the rain coming down so heavily. I became very happy. It reminded me of Washington, or Australia. I especially liked that it was not blistering hot Texas weather. It was a good day to sit on the porch. So, I woke up Andrew and told him that there was coffee and he had to come drink it on the porch. Andrew did not hesitate. He got up and poured himself a cup of coffee and joined us on the porch. We each read our books, sipped our coffee, or played with toys, respectively. We sat for a long while enjoying the gentle, peaceful, uninterrupted sounds of rain pattering to the earth. Then Alexander became hungry and sleepy with great urgency as he let me know. So, I nursed him there on the porch and he fell asleep in my arms. After a short while the coffee had created in me my own sense of urgency. So, I went inside and put the Alexander down in his crib. He napped for two hours. This gave Andrew and I time to just sit back relax and talk. We talked about how much we liked being parents and getting to know Alexander. We have had such a life fulfilling experience with Alexander. We think he has a good personality.

Andrew and I were discussing all these facts and I suddenly exclaimed that I do not understand people who do not want a family, or are hesitant about starting a family—have standoffish opinions about having children. Recently, I had a conversation with a couple who were not sure they were ready to start a family. Not that they did not want children, they just had the attitude tht most young married couples have these days. They wanted to spend a few years married, work a little on their careers, make sure they had enough money and so on. One major thing in their minds was that they could not see themselves as parents yet. These are all very common notions amongst newly married couples today. As opposed to sixty years ago when young married couples could not wait to have children and tried very hard to do so.

Initially, Andrew and I thought it would be best to wait to have children until he was finished with his PhD. I mean graduate students are not known for having the resources to support a family. But, we also did not want to wait too long. I think that many people would say that we have started a family too soon. But, that is what people also said about us getting married right out of college—too young, too soon. But, how can they know when it is the right time for us? I cannot think of a more natural and coherent progression of our lives. Andrew and I are very fortunate to be two very practical people. We were not caught up in a purely physical relationship nor were we struck dumb by fanciful idealistic views of each other and our relationship. Therefore, it was quite natural for us to grow up, become friends, leave our families and naturally assimilate into our own family.

At some point in the first year of our marriage, as our love for one another grew, our fears of having a child before we were capable of caring for one disappeared. Of course, not knowing what to expect, there was a little trepidation. However, now that we are amidst diapers and high chairs, we can honestly say that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks.

In our conversation yesterday, Andrew began telling me that in having a child he realized that it is the most important thing you can do (I hope that Andrew will take a little time explaining this in the blog as he did to me yesterday). It is more important than your career or school. It is the greatest thing to be able to procreate, to love someone, to love someone who is of your flesh and of your spouses flesh—forever united, and to teach the young, to have a special bond, to change and add to the world with your offspring, and to do it now rather than later. If you wait until later, you may never get the chance. The sooner you add to your family the more time you will have to spend with them. So, again, I do not understand those who do not want children and, or want to wait to have them.

Needless to say, we had great day being a family yesterday.

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