Deciding to have kids is a huge deal. I mean, deciding which college to go to was kinda big. What to major in . . . yeah, that mattered . . . unless it was psychology or poly-sci. Who to ask to prom . . . that one seemed pretty much like life or death. Except for the time I actually got a big, fat NO (but that’s a story for a sadder blog). But I’m pretty sure that nothing is as foundationally life-altering as the the baby-decision, which I had no idea would eventually involve smelling things I never wanted to smell, microwaving platefuls of chicken nuggets, or watching hours of Dora the Explorer. See that was back when I was all about moderately-rational decisions like how much Pasta-Roni or frozen pizza I could buy and still have money to see the new Adam Sandler movie. There’s a formula there – involving numbers and stuff. I always had a plan.
I had a similar plan about when there would be a little me in the world. Kinda hard to remember the plan now – but I’m pretty sure the baby part was after college/job/grad school/mortgage. See the little people were always gonna be a part of my life at some point. But the thought of that all seemed like something that might be more for “other (older) people.” A few years wouldn’t hurt, right? Seemed like an awfully good idea.
Sometimes life comes up with a better idea.
Now I kid you not when I say this, but I had some crazy epiphany while we were at the Mask of Zorro movie in 1998. Can’t really explain it, but something in the melon clicked and I decided to be totally irrational. (cuz there’s NOTHING rational about having kids) You should’ve seen Traci’s face when I made my little pronouncement driving back to our humble, QUIET, apartment. She was ecstatic, but probably had little big-decision whiplash (BDW) from my sudden change of heart. But I was a senior in college and she was a first year school teacher in Utah, which means that she spent more money buying laminated letters and glue than she actually got in her paycheck each month. There was no WAY this was gonna work.
Well, we had 4 kids by the time I was 30.
Has it complicated life? . . . . Perhaps just a bit, and in ways I could NEVER have guessed (and I’m glad I didn’t know about). But in a simple way, it has become life. These little people are great (except when they’re just a little less great).
I’ve decided that the whole rational planning thing is best left to grocery lists. Cuz even though life gets harder at times with 4 demanding little people who are needier and more complex (and messy) than I ever could’ve imagined-
The good parts are way better than I had planned.