I remember the exact place and time. I was standing in our kitchen in our small home in Woodinville, WA. Kim stood next to me. I could tell she was excited about something but was waiting for the right time to tell me. She was giddy and nervous and I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.
She finally got around to saying, “We are having a baby!” and I stood there stunned and not sure what to say. But my initial shock quickly wore off and we smile and hugged each other for a long time. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face for days. Everywhere I went, I would tell myself over and over, “I’m going to be a dad”. Maybe I felt that if I said it enough I’d start to feel like one.
We now have four children and each time Kim told me another one was on the way, I was thrilled. I figured that with each child I’d feel more mature and more prepared to welcome the next one into our family. But that wasn’t the case. Each time I experienced a number of emotions ranging from excitement to shock to sheer joy to feeling overwhelmed. I believe this is normal.
With each child we wondered how the next would change the dynamics of our family. I wouldn’t say we planned the arrival for each child, waiting for the ideal time for another child. There’s a magic surrounding the birth of a child and I felt too much planning would ruin the moment. One of the great joys of raising children is seeing how they interact and grow together, and we are happy with our decisions to have them close in age.
Before I leave for work each morning, I walk into their rooms and kiss them goodbye. It’s the only time of the day their little bodies aren’t running or dancing or wiggling around. I never tire of this routine. Yet some mornings, I stand back to look at them and wonder why I deserve such a rich life full of great kids. They bring so much happiness into my life.
Of course, there are many challenges and I make lots of mistakes. But the good time are so fantastic that it’s hard to imagine my life without them.