Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dear Old Dad

My wife wants to have a baby.

It's a beautiful thing to see. She coos and croons over cute babies, toddlers and kindergarteners. She dreams of baby names, nursery themes and educational philosophies. She wants very much to be a mother.

The strange thing is that the desire sort of came out of nowhere.

When we were first married, we both felt that having children was about 5 years off (we're nearly at that now). However, until about a year and a half ago, we had almost decided that maybe we wouldn't even have children. We had feelings that the life that was unfolding before us was going to be...inconsistent at best, perhaps tumultuous or even dangerous. We don't believe we'll ever be very well off. The kinds of things we want to do with our lives typically don't pay well (if at all). Plus, this is a dangerous, sinful, broken world. Is it really even fair to bring children into a world that, at times, appears to be coming apart at the seems?

Besides, we weren't planning to have kids while we were in Korea. We just thought that would make moving to wherever we might go after this all the more difficult.

This is the way we were reasoning...and then some friends of ours got pregnant.

Actually, that's not completely fair. There were multiple factors that contributed to it, I'm sure. Not the least of which is the fact that Ferial is 26 years old, and her body is naturally telling her that it's about time to have popped out a kid or two.

The pregnant friend certainly helped though. Truth be told, it seemed that almost everyone we knew suddenly either had kids, was getting pregnant or desperately wanted children and couldn't have them.
Anyway, one evening, as we were going to bed, Ferial softly spoke, her face and hair awash with dim moonlight, "I think I want a baby."

I was floored.

I totally wasn't expecting it.  I mean, the last time we'd talked about it, we were preparing ourselves for the wrath of our parents after telling them we weren't going to have children.

Now, my wife wants to be a mommy.

Truly, that's her current aspiration. She wants to be a mother.

And it really is beautiful. It brings me joy to see her embracing this maternal aspect of her femininity. I see motherhood, [potentially] fulfilling her in ways neither of us could have ever thought possible. I thrill at the idea of her teaching, guiding, influencing and nurturing our children. I look forward to partnering with her in this, leading our family in The Way, teaching our children to worship Jesus, guiding them as shepherd and mentoring them as an older friend.
I look forward to being a father.

Just not yet...

And this is where my wife cringes, internally.

I've been saying that ever since she first whispered those wonderful words on that softly moonlit night.
At first, she thought it was fear, that I was afraid of the responsibility, the commitment, of how having children would forever change our lives...and she was right, in a way.  Fear wasn't the totality of it, though. I just didn't feel that it was (or is) the best time to expand our family...this statement begs the question, though: When is? The best answer I can provide is, "whenever God says so..."

And so we wait. We are waiting on the Lord. We like to tell people, "We're not trying to have kids, but we are no longer trying to prevent having kids."  We are waiting...

And I like the waiting. Truth be told, as much as I do want to be a father [someday], I am fairly content with this stage of our lives. There are days on which I'd rather have a different job, or live in a different place, but generally speaking, I am happy. We're happy.
I do wonder though, for how long will I be ok waiting?

We have some friends at church in a unique family situation. They have been married for a number of years, and they are incredibly happy. However, he is much older than she. I love this couple. They are wonderful people and have become for us, dear friends. I was thinking about them a couple of days ago. He is in his 50s. They have a 4 year old son. By the time that boy graduates college, his father will be nearly 70. That in itself, presents all kinds of problems for them. Perhaps none too serious, but he probably won't be out in the yard, playing football with his 15 year old son.

I don't think that there's anything necessarily wrong with that, but I wondered...will that be me?

Already, if we were to get pregnant right away, I will be nearly 50 by the time that child is 18. If we wait longer, what then?

It puts a new twist on the phrase Dear Old Dad.

Whatever, though. I want you to know, dearest Ferial, that I do look forward to being the father of our children, if the Lord wills that we have them. I look forward to raising a family with you. I know you'd be an excellent mother. I know you'd have beautiful babies. What's more, I know that God is faithful. He will give us children in His own time. So, I commit our family to Him, trusting that He will do what is best for His Kingdom...and ultimately, that is what's best for us. 



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