I remember so vividly the day Kevin and I decided that we wanted to have a baby. We had been married for about a year and a half, were living in San Francisco and were merely babies ourselves at the tender age of twenty-four. We were on the Geary bus when I nervously brought the subject up, fearful that he'd shoot it down once again. I could barely contain my excitement when he replied without reservation, "O.K., let's do it!" I was excited, nervous, and my palms were sweating as we rode the over-crowded 38 MUNI bus headed towards Ocean Beach.
We were young, in love, and our biggest responsibility was taking care of our cat and making sure we got to work on time. We had only lived in San Francisco for a year and couldn't afford much, so we lived in the "Tender-Nob;" definitely not the place you want to raise a child. Although the apartment was nice, the view from the window was, well....colorful. Junkies shooting up, pizza men being chased by pimps (no kidding), fire engines roaring by every three minutes; all highly entertaining to watch at two o'clock in the morning but obviously not the ideal environment for a baby. We decided to move back to our beloved Santa Cruz, where kids rode their bikes to school with their surfboards in tow. Shortly thereafter we had found jobs, and were fortunate enough to live in "the beach house." We were excited and nervous knowing that we were making a HUGE decision that would change our lives forever, as I am sure everyone trying to get pregnant is.
Many people in our position wait until "the time is right," but we really believed that now was as good of time as any. We talked about how if we waited until we had enough money or owned a home, or any of the other prerequisites that "responsible" adults wait for, we'd be sixty years old before we had a child. Undoubtedly there were naysayers who thought that we were irresponsible for bringing a child into the world before we were "ready," but we were ready. It was sometime in January that we found out we were pregnant, and it was such an exciting time. I loved being pregnant and did everything by the book. I was not scared about the labor and delivery whatsoever; but I was suddenly scared to death about being someone's parent! Having a little person who is completely dependent on me was a daunting thought, but the fright always left as quickly as it came.
Fast forward five years and a second (wonderful surprise) child later: our lives have certainly seen it's share of uncertainty. Living with our parents during a terrible recession, colicky babies, sleepless weeks resulting in a semi-psychotic young mother; it was during these times when we thought, hmm.....maybe we should have waited until we were "ready." And then we come to our senses and remember that even if we'd been more financially prepared or owned a home of our own; having our children was well worth the worry, the mishaps, and even having to live with our (generous and understanding) parents while we got back on our feet. Stressful times to be sure, but an experience that all brought us closer as a family.
Today is Saturday. It is nine o'clock in the morning, and I've been awake for two hours. The 'pre-children me' would have easily slept in past noon, rolled out of bed for lunch and maybe gone back to sleep to rest up for a Saturday night bar crawl. As I write this, our children are playing a newly discovered game of marbles, Sam is wearing his Halloween costume from last year (it's August), and we are about to walk to the Farmer's Market for some delicious treats and fresh flowers. I am thirty-one years old, and our oldest child will start first grade next week. I am beginning an incredibly exciting job in two days, and my husband has worked his way into a fulfilling career that he loves. Everything has fallen into place despite our unpreparedness. We followed our hearts, ignored the warnings, and today I am grateful for these little people that have made my life worth while.
I am not sure why I decided to share this. I think that sometimes I am just so overcome with happiness that I can't keep it bottled inside. I am more in love with my husband than the day I married him and today we will watch our little children with amusement, knowing that we made the right decision six years ago. :)