I can remember the feeling I got when Kori and I were newlyweds and back from the honeymoon trip, and I was leaving for work and returning from work in a home shared by my wife...just like real a grown up.
Although I had looked forward to being married to Kori and getting to be with her all of the time, I hadn’t looked forward to the “boring” thing of settling down with a real job, the home, and living with someone else for the rest of my life. It wasn’t like I was dreading that - I just hadn’t been looking forward to it in the forefront of my thinking. I just looked at it like a necessity that went along with being married, like having to stop at the gas station in order to go on a road trip... only much more serious and deep than that.
Yet, once I found myself in that position of being the married man going off to work in my tie and returning to a shared home at the end of the work day– standing at that front door - I felt such a feeling of belonging and accomplishment, as if this was the way things were supposed to be.
That feeling was renewed with the pregnancy and birth.
Now that I’m a father, it just seems like “of course... this is the way it is supposed to be” as if it was a given all along – as if the uncertainty if whether or not I would get married and become a father never existed. Of course I would get married and become a father. After all, here I am now.
I’ve agreed out loud many times over the last ten months, and especially the last five weeks, that it is one thing to know something on an intellectual level, but quite a different thing to actually experience it. You can read all of the books and hear all of the stories from friends and family, but you don’t really feel it to the fullest until you experience it.
It is one thing to have a wife – a capable grown woman who has proven to be able to take care of herself - voluntarily changer her life to rely on me. It is quite different to voluntarily bring a baby into the world who now relies on both of us for love, for food, for shelter, for clothing, for health care, for protection, for cleaning, for affection, for teaching her how to survive and thrive in the world, and for her role models.
It is life events like this that cause me feel a deeper connection to my own parents, my sister who has two children with her husband, and other parents in my life. The emotions and perspectives shift. The contemplation of various life issues comes up in the daily thinking. I know studies show the brains of people are literally change when they become parents, and I can believe it, because I have experienced changes.
Suddenly, there is a tangible living legacy and I’m no longer the end of the line, but rather a link in a beautiful chain that I may live to see get even longer. It's a spiritual experience.
If you aren’t a parent (yet), you can understand the words I write. If you are a parent, you’ve probably experienced what I’m saying.
I'm so blessed to have both of these ladies in my life, and so thankful that our families and friends have surrounded us to share in the joy and to assist.