I'm going to be a Dad!
I swear that I yelled these words at the top of my lungs when Hannah told me that she was pregnant but she insists that I just sat there quietly for ten minutes with a huge smile on my face. Regardless of what actually happened when she told me, I'm ecstatic for this next chapter in our lives. I can't believe that we might actually find out if it's a boy or girl sometime this month and that we'll have a third in our family for Christmas this year!
I've been fortunate to be surrounded by family and friends that are (already) spoiling our little one and checking up on us as we make preparations to step into this new season. And of course, I get to tell people how excited I am when I get asked the, "So, how do you feel?" question. Which, if I'm counting, is several times a week. Now, don't get me wrong. I like the attention and my kid is quickly becoming one of my favorite topics.
But every now and then, a close friend or mentor will ask a different question.
"What do you think about becoming a dad?"
You see the difference? Maybe it's not a big one, but it does have me thinking. That and the fact that a few nights ago, Hannah and I started creating space in our closet for baby stuff which means that we already have diapers and some toys!
I'm excited for the chance to create family memories and traditions. Now of course, Hannah and I are a family but for all intensive purposes, we were also a couple. As I look back on my childhood, I'm grateful for the intentionality that my parents put into creating memorable moments. At the time, I thought it was normative and even until recently, I didn't realize the time/effort/finances that it cost them but I am so thankful.
For instance, every Christmas Eve, my family would jump into our vehicle with mugs of hot chocolate and spend hours driving around the city looking for the best light display. Or when I was in high school and my younger siblings were in grade school, my Dad would play chess with us every night within five minutes of arriving at home. Or how my Mom would pray over us and talk about the armor of God each day before we went to school.
All of these experiences are small but they were continually repeated and made an impact on me.
Realizing that money is pretty cool, but you don't actually need a ton of it. I came to this thought because I thought back to all my favorite memories growing up and most of them took place before my parents had really made it (financially). Of course, I loved going to Disney when I was around seven years old, but most of the fondness I recall today had to do with the people around us at various times in my childhood. Neighbors, church friends and extended family.
I'm looking forward to raising a son or daughter that thinks that spiritual and deep conversations are normal. Like most things in life, we were recipients of someone else's actions. And in this regard, my parents did a great job! It wasn't one big moment, but I remember hearing them talk about the message at church, having family meetings to discuss important obstacles or changes, asking us questions about what we were learning and taking the time to pray together every night.
I have a lot (okay, maybe just a few) more thoughts but those are the ones I've been processing recently. As I've said before, I feel that it's a special privilege to raise a child in an environment like Chi Alpha. And I'm not just talking about the possibility of free babysitting (although that's nice) but instead, the chance to grow our family in the context of a loving community.