Wednesday, October 29, 2008
I have often lamented our decision to postpone starting a family. Bobby and I were approaching our tenth anniversary when our first little one was born. If only I'd known how important this family thing was to me - I feel sure I would have skipped some of the superfluous choices of my 20s. But - like many 20 somethings - I believed the myths: 1) that I would stay young and energetic forever 2) that there would be a time that I would become (magically, i guess) emotionally, financially and spiritually ready for children 3) and that establishing my career would be more rewarding, more true to myself, more financially savy then preparing for a family (after all - what would I do would all my spare time after the kids started school).
Now, $100,000 of school loans later, I see things differently. Hindsight, right? But, God is good, and this weekend I experienced a hidden blessing in my decision to wait.
When my sister, Erin, was born I was 4 1/2. Her little person punctuates my earliest memories. Petite, silly, and outgoing, she was a huge hit among my friends. My daughter, Jane, reminds me of her in many ways. As a little girl, I felt a fierce loyalty to and responsibility for Erin - I can remember repeatedly praying that she wouldn't have bad dreams. Ellen was different. Born when I was 8, I never really thought she liked me. She was quiet and introspective - it wasn't until I left for college and received many letters from her that knew how she felt - to this day, those letters make me teary.
My little sisters flew to visit me this weekend. They loaded up strollers, carseats, purchased coats for their babies (who were used to Tx weather) and made the trek to Chesterton, IN. See, there's this weird gap that exists, now - without Tiffany - I always feel I'm going through life stages way ahead of my siblings - putting us in different worlds. That, combined with the distance between Austin and Chesterton can really feel isolating. But, as these beautiful young women sat on the rug in my living room - their babies, my babies all mingling toys, blankets, nums I felt a special closeness. I felt like I had my children at the perfect time. How lucky I am to be surrounded by a loving family - how lucky my girls are to have such wonderful cousins.
I always feel a tightness in my chest and a lump in my throat after one of my family visits (yes, Zach, you too) - it's hard to watch them leave. But it's somehow easier now that my kids love my family, also - as though we are all intricatly connected. I miss Youcie (Lucie) and baby Knox my little Jane told me this evening. "I know, I do, too," I replied. "We'll see them again soon."