I was listening to a song by No Doubt today and the lyrics of their single, “Simple Kind of Life,” really struck a nerve with me. Here are a few of the lines:
“I always thought I’d be a mom
Sometimes I wish for a mistake
The longer that I wait the more selfish that I get
You seem like you’d be a good dad
Now all those simple things are simply too complicated for my life
How’d I get so faithful to my freedom?
A selfish kind of life
When all I ever wanted was the simple things
A simple kind of life “
The main lyrics that stood out to me where “How’d I get so faithful to my freedom?/A selfish kind of life/When all I ever wanted was the simple things/A simple kind of life”. I grew up playing house, playing with dolls, helping around the house at a young age, babysitting at 9 years old more for the interaction with the babies than for the money, losing myself in books, writing (of course) and dreaming about my future as a mommy.
However, somewhere along the line I got selfish. I got married when I was 20 years old and my husband and I spend a lot of time out of the house, going out to dinner, watching movies and we were always moving from state to state. The thought often crossed my mind about starting a family, but I never saw it “fitting” into our lifestyle. My husband also indicated that he liked children but that he didn’t see us starting a family anytime soon. I worked for a few years, then went back to school and pushed the idea of starting a family deep inside my brain and heart so that I wouldn’t be affected by my yearning for a family. Around my single friends, I pretended to not want children. We would sit and delightfully talk about our “freedom”. I guess I’m a better liar than I thought, or maybe they never knew me well enough to know the difference. With my friends with children, I offered free babysitting, invited their kids to come with us on our outings (although most moms declined for some much-needed “mommy time”), I set up Easter egg hunts at my house and took some of them to movies and trips to the toy store. Spending time with these moms and their kids let me release some of my mothering on their kids and satisfied me for the time being.
I finished my degree in 2008 and as fate would have it, we mutually decided to start a family.It was quite beautiful how it all happened. Earlier that same year, my husband had accepted a position in California (my home state), while I finished school in Georgia. He would travel back and forth between the two states and also did some work from Georgia. By mid-year, I had graduated from the Art Institute of Atlanta, turned 27 and was ready to sell my house and move back to where I belonged. I had this knot in my stomach every time I was around children and babies, as if something was lacking in my life. I knew that me and my husband would eventually have kids, but knew that if I brought up the subject again and he told me he wasn’t ready that it would truly break my heart. All these years, knowing he wasn’t ready, I played off my immense desire for children. One night, when he was away in California and I was in our packed up house in Georgia, I decided to talk about starting a family. As if he knew what I was thinking, he answered the phone with a funny kind of tone in his voice; a tone that was filled with excitement. He told me he had the most incredible experience at the airport that day. He told me that he had gotten off the plane and was on his way to the baggage claim area when he saw a mother with two small children holding each of her hands. They ran enthusiastically towards a man who was walking right beside him and yelled, “daddy!” , each hugging him at the same time as the man bent down on one knee to catch both kids in his arms. My husband, a man who doesn’t tend to show a lot of emotion, said that he got choked up and was sincerely envious of this man and the love he had from his children. After telling me his story, my husband said to me, ” Are you feeling what I’m feeling?” I replied, “Are you talking about what I think you’re talking about?” To which he replied,” I want to start a family with you. Now.” A month later I was pregnant and today our beautiful son is 21 months.
Up until that point, we had been living this existence that was selfish and we were happy. We have never looked back since that day. There are many chapters in our relationship: the beginning, the middle, and the beginning once again. This is my life. I am beyond happy and feel more love in my heart that I ever felt possible. It is not merely from having a child, it is about looking at life from a completely different perspective. I have always been wise, but I have always leaned more on the pessimistic side, whereas now I am the polar opposite. If God makes such beautiful things such as children, then that means to me that there is always hope for change in the world and there is more love out there then we have yet to discover.
My life is not over. My life is just beginning a new chapter. I will start another chapter one day, but now I am focusing on this gift that I have been giving and enjoying every minute of it. After all, all I ever want was a simple kind of life. =)