We had been married for 8 months when I saw two lines on the test. I was 22 and finishing my last semester of college.
We always wanted to have kids, but not now. The life we had carefully planned and dreamed about simply dissolved.
When we found out we were having twins, our friends said, “Woah,” their eyes and mouths perfect circles of shock and awe.
“I know,” we said, our souls mimicking their reactions.
We felt like our life was over.
I quickly added up the years in my head. Forty. We would be forty when they graduated from high school. Then we would get our life back.
Nearly nine years have passed since then and I am ashamed of my attitude, how I wanted to wish the years away until we somehow got back to “real life.”
I can’t remember what I thought Real Life was back then. I know I wanted more time with my husband. I wanted us to finish school, reach our goals, achieve our dreams, and have adventures. We wanted to taste the adult life we had always craved.
Having kids so soon threw a wrench in the carefully crafted machine we called Real Life.
Instead, God plucked us away from our pristine blueprints, planted us in a new life and said “Grow.”
And do you know what?
Real Life happened.
It just took us a few years to recognize it.
We thought children were an interruption to Real Life. We wanted all the highs that we thought being an adult would bring: Diplomas, celebrations, promotions, travel, vacations, independence, and big toys.
It took me a few years to recognize that having children didn’t stop my Real Life from happening.
We were promoted to “Mommy and Daddy,” a sacred honor and jaw-dropping responsibility.
We celebrated when babies finally slept through the night and when our 8 year old became part of the 100 Point Reading Club in 2nd grade.
We now appreciate the luxury of travel without kids and know the true price of independence.
Forget about Big Toys. We wonder why we have so much crap in our basement.
Oh, and we didn’t need to worry about the diplomas. Between the two of us, we’ve earned five degrees since we found out we were pregnant in 2007. After all, you make time for what’s really important to you.
I spent a long time mourning the life I thought I was going to have, and wishing away the years until my Real Life would start.
But the Real is all around me:
Real, flesh and blood boys, full of warmth and silky hair and heavy heads on my shoulder and sticky kisses.
Real bills and grocery shopping and home improvement projects and problem solving as a couple.
Real smiles and inside jokes and farting kids and laughing until you cry.
Real fights and shouting and apologizing and relationship building.
Real conversations about God and our dreams, both old and shifted, and how they overlap.
This is the stuff that makes up Real Life.
I wish I could go back to my 22 year old self and tell that scared girl who was about to become a mom, “It isn’t going to look like you planned. You aren’t going to look like you planned. But don’t wish it away, because your Real Life IS happening right now.”
What about you?
Did your children come to you unexpectedly?
Does your Real Life look different than you thought it would?
How do you find acceptance in the unexpected?
Share your story below!
I hope that my story can bring hope, healing, and happiness to you. TheBamBlog is trying to grow! Did this post encourage you or would it inspire someone you know?