I consider family one of the most important aspects of life. My family gave me roots. They’ve grounded me in this ever-changing, overwhelming world. Those who know me well would nod vigorously in agreement that I definitely pride myself in the fact that half of my heritage comes from a very large Catholic farming family. The other side—my dad’s side—is boisterous (perhaps from the Jewish heritage?), yet personal. It’s quite a bit smaller than my mom’s family, but still full of strong tradition and family values. Regardless of these different families, both have contributed in some way to the person that I am. And I love that! David, too, has a rich appreciation for family. He comes from a large military family on one side; the other a southern farming family. When we married in 2010, starting our own family wasn’t even a question. Yes, of course we would have kids.
I’d always figured, assumed, taken for granted that one day I would start a family of my own, to create another generation molded on the basis of rich traditions from generations past. Now, when I was a naïve, young 20 something I assumed that I would start making babies as soon as I got married. Crank ‘em out like a machine and then raise ‘em. Oh, I just chuckled at myself as I wrote that…my values have evolved so much since then!
When David and I were preparing for marriage, we decided to follow the practice of Natural Family Planning, which organically encourages us to discern the “right time” to bring new life into this world (more details on the beautiful practice later). Every month we evaluated whether our current plans were still applicable. A couple of times, we discerned through prayer and deep conversation to push back the start of our family. Many factors went into this, but primarily we focused on our spiritual and emotional maturity. Were we really in a place to provide a healthy, stable and supportive environment for this new life?
About six months ago, the time finally came where both of us said YES—we are ready to take on the scary challenge of bringing a new life into this world, and loving him or her as best we can. This would be the ultimate acknowledgement of our love for each other and our love for God. Don’t get me wrong; we were still terrified by the idea of taking on such a life-long commitment. After all, I hear there’s no CTRL+Z (for you Mac people, that’s undo on a ;-), and the docs don’t accept the receipt for returns.
I don’t know how else to say it, other than it doesn’t really matter if there’s no CTRL+Z or returns accepted because David and I are now expecting a little addition to our family this spring, and can’t imagine turning back!
|Our sweet little family photo - see the little guy?|
There have been so many emotions that accompany this change in our lives. I won’t go into them all right now, but as many women who are mothers already or are also pregnant with their first child can probably attest, the roller coaster is surprising, maybe even a little shocking. But most of all, it’s humbling. I’m growing a person. A person who will be with us in just a few short months. A person pure and innocent. This person whom David and I will strive to raise with all the roots given to us from our own families, and hopefully with enough grace from God to not screw him or her up too much. J