Two years ago, early spring, we had a yard sale. We had some stuff to get rid of.
While going through the closets, my wife came across a mountain of my step-sons baby and toddler clothes. There was also a crib and other 'accessories'.
Now, I'm not one for pack-ratting, though I do save ;some' things. She saves everything. I mean every-thing. She has boxes and boxes filled with his school stuff from Kindergarten up to 4th grade. I'm not just talking about his special projects and report cards. She has actual lunch menu's and handwriting practice sheets. She saves everything.
I gently try to persuade her, for the fourth or fifth time to put the stuff out in the yard sale. (Not the school stuff. Unless you know of a 1st grader in search of a term paper.)
She, for the first time, says 'okay'. My wife of a little over a year looks at me and laugh's "It's not like we're going to have a baby at our age." Now, at the time, I was 41. My wife is younger than I am. Younger by a few years. I would have said 'much' younger, but I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea. (Did I make you sound young enough, dear?)
"No. No way." I laugh.
But then her eyes soften and she says "but, what if we want to..."
This conversation has come up before. A few months into our marriage it came up. Hanging on the refrigerator, so I wouldn't forget, is a yellowed piece of paper with a name written on it. (It hangs next to a news paper clipping of the floor plan for my dream house, that is almost as old and yellowed) It's the name I wanted for the baby, should we ever decide to have one. It's the name that sent chills up the spine of my southern Mother-in-Law, who prefers the more traditional names like Bubba, CW, and Stonewall. (Okay, I exaggerate , but you get the picture.) It's the name that caused my new wife to look at me and wonder if maybe she shouldn't have been so quick to say 'I do'.
Anyway, after running through the pro's, con's, and what if's, I convinced her to put the stuff in the yard sale. Now, this is cute. here was my final argument or selling point. "Look, honey, if we do decide to have a baby, we'll just start over with all this." Kinda lame, huh? Well, between that and probably just exhaustion from discussing it, she agreed. Do you see a trend here?
We sold it all. Well, almost all. She convinced me to let her keep the truly sentimental things. Some other things we gave to family who were expecting. Over the next few weeks, she lamented over some of the items. There were clothes that had never been worn and still had the tags on them. There were baby blankets, and shoes, and such. Strollers, ("Those are expensive, honey. Shouldn't we at least keep them?" she said) toys, and a plethora of baby and toddler paraphernalia. We made a few bucks.
I am now 43. I've had an interesting life. I started playing guitar for money at 17. I've done community theater, dinner theater, was an extra in a movie, was on Oprah (don't ask) and have traveled a lot. Seen my face in the paper a few times. (no, not the police blog) I've met a few famous folks and watched friends become famous. I also had my low moments and have often laughed that I was kind of like the famous person that no one ever knew. I'm married and have a wonderful step-son. I can look back and say, I've done a lot. A whole lot. But, not everything. Not quite.
I have never been over sea's. I've never climbed a mountain or anything physically challenging like that. I've never seen the Statue of Liberty, though I have been to New York more times than I can count. there is a lot I have never done. I've never had a baby.
Last week, my younger than I wife informed me I was about to embark on a new adventure. An 'unplanned adventure'. That I could cross off one of those "I have never things." With tears in her eyes and absolutely no words, she looked at me and just nodded quickly. I stifled a smile, laugh, and tears as she just broke down. She was more afraid of how I would take it than I was. She's funny that way. That's why I love her, or I should say, one of many reasons. She informed me, that at 43, I was going to become a Daddy. A Father. The Ol' Man. Pappa Smurf. (Right now, I see myself more as Homer Simpson.)
Remember the 'trend' I mentioned? Did you see it? I'm psychic! I am! The name on the refrigerator. The profoundly futuristic statement of "We can start over." I was just too stupid to see it. Yeah. That's it. Not too mention, after over a year of recovering from a spinal fusion and all the pain, and constantly asking God "When does it end? The pain, the hardship, the financial burden of being out of work? When will you do something good for us?"
I asked for it. I actually asked for it. So, did my wife. We practically said "Give us a miracle" and demanded it. And boy, did he answer. (Note to self...Be careful what you pray for.)
Someone, having heard the news, said to me "Life as you know it.. is now over." Truer words could not be spoken. But then, shouldn't every day be like that? You know the old saying, 'Today is the first day...yadda yadda". Shouldn't every day be the the beginning of a new adventure? No matter what the obstacles, no matter how difficult it seems, no matter how hopeless, shouldn't everyday be a challenge and an adventure that we should dive into? Instead of wading in with all the baggage from the days before, shouldn't we just dive in?
We broke the news to family and friends. I'm sharing it here with the friends I have made here over the past year. Pretty much sharing it with the world. We are both over the initial shock of this very unexpected gift and blessing to our lives and looking forward to our new lives. Today is a good day.
Oh yeah. The name I wrote on the piece of paper and hung on the fridge..."Journey".
"Honey, what about 'Candida'?"