I am still in the process of building this blog. Hopefully I never have sufficient reason to build it to completion or to post here regularly.
My wife and I got married four years ago. I was still an undergraduate student and my wife was working on a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing. Within two years of our marriage, we were both finished with our undergraduate education. I began a graduate program and my wife started a nursing job. My wife was ready to have children.
I was not.
I was afraid of the kind of dad that I would be. I was afraid that I was not ready.
Not ready to share so much of my wife’s time with another human being. Not ready to give up control of my sleeping schedule. Not ready to provide for a child. Not ready to grow up.
Scared, really. What would happen to our marriage? I’m not exactly the easiest person to love. I’m frequently short with people. I am strongly opinionated and have a difficult time accepting anything in the world that is different than the way I would like it to be. My wife’s a scheduler who gets upset with last-minute changes in plan. This could get real ugly real fast if we threw a baby or two in the mix, I reasoned.
And then things did get ugly. As my wife expressed her desire to become a mother to me and I expressed my reservations, our relationship weakened. It became difficult for us to confide in one another about our depressions. She was sad because I didn’t want to have a baby with her yet. I was sad because I was hurting her so deeply.
I struggled with my feelings. I wanted to be a dad . . . someday. But I wanted to be a good dad. Could I be a good dad yet? I was sure I couldn’t. I hadn’t even figured out how to be a good husband yet.
Eventually, I decided that there was only one good way to prepare to be a good dad and it involved committing to it.
My wife and I were planning a trip for our third anniversary. A couple days before, I went to the drugstore and instead of buying condoms, I bought a pacifier. My plan was to give them to her as an anniversary gift on that trip.
Before we left on our trip (I do not remember if it was days or hours or minutes before we were planning on leaving — but in my mind it was the day that we were leaving), I found my wife crying in bed. The reason was clear to me — why would I want to celebrate my marriage to the man who is holding me back from my greatest desire?
I couldn’t stand to wait another minute. I hadn’t wrapped them. I hadn’t even removed them from their convenient hiding place in my backpack. I took out the pacifiers and handed them to my wife.
“I’m ready,” I told her as I knelt by the side of the bed.
She continued to cry (hopefully with a different motive) and we kissed.
A year later, we have both shed many more tears.