We’ve been many places on our own and then many more together. We had both had heartbreak and weren’t necessarily sure marriage was the ultimate phase of a relationship. But we said, “with you I would.” And we married and continued to find corners of the earth and sanctuaries in our own backyard. We yearned for something more and together pushed for experiences and activities that would both calm our far-to-busy brains and inspire our far-to-idilic imaginations.
While I have always loved children, been stupidly responsible and insanely maternal since before I can remember and was fairly sure having one of my own was something not to opt-out of in this life, we hadn’t set out to have one. We didn’t marry thinking “okay great, we’re married and now we make babies STAT.” Rather, we knew we could imagine life together and so we celebrated that through a wedding, and then we enjoyed it. Life. Together. I like to think we took years to build a foundation that a lasting marriage could stably survive perched upon, but I think even that is too fairytale to say.
I’ve been married long enough and seen to many relationships go through hard hard stuff to think any long term relationship is invincible. But I we did share experiences and create memories that I think will hold strong and true in the times that can challenge any two peoples’ longevity. We came back to those snippets of perfection from time to time and the did indeed seem to sew together any little fray that may have been challenging our state of mind.
So when we decided to create an offspring, it was a very conscious life move, knowing full-well we were moving into a very new phase of our relationship and our lives. What they don’t tell you is that it doesn’t matter where you go and how much fantastic you experience, seeing it through your kids’ eyes is way more amazing than any wonder of the world you could see through your own eyes.
Our baby is seven months old. He doesn’t even know what’s going on. And yet I’d say he knows everything that’s going on more deeply than any of us. He observes and is ruled by the simple elements — hunger, sleepiness, warmth, cuddles. He stares at the ocean and splashes the water with the awe that water in all its wonder deserves. He pauses and jerks his head back to look at strangers looking at him and gives cheeky smiles making their day in but a passing second. He doesn’t push through being tired or hungry just to get to the next site or location. He doesn’t even know thats what silly grown-ups do. He just feels something and says I need that with his little squawky cry and I feed him or rush him home to a warm bed. He makes us pause and makes us move through space more prepared, more aware, more understanding than ever before. We remember the importance of quiet and feel accomplished at the end of each day just having him along for the journey.
And all of a sudden we realize — that thing that people tell you, that thing that you hear but can’t fully comprehend until you make a tiny-person with someone and settle into life with that tiny person and start to see their personality unfold. That this little pooping, giggling, squishy being is our greatest adventure. He gets to open his cute little mouth and point is chubby little fingers and we’ll smile and help him move forward. And we get to be navigators on the wild journey of being his parents.
What a voyage this is going to be.