While we were up in Murphys this past weekend, I got a chance to do some re-reading of books I’ve read in the past, but obviously have much more meaning to me now. The first one I read was Nicholas Wolterstorff’s “Lament for a Son.” This was a book I read in seminary, in which Wolterstorff recalls his emotions and thoughts after the tragic death of his son in a climbing accident. There were quite a few passages that I found meaningful, but one line in particular struck me as I was reading through the book. Wolterstorff wrote,
“I didn’t know how much I loved him until he was gone.”
When Sarah and I found out we were pregnant, we were in Hawaii, and it was kind of a shock. Not a surprise, like we didn’t know what we were doing, but more like, “Wow. That was fast.” And it’s not like we didn’t have any conversations about it – we had talked about it, decided we were ready for kids and it was time to start trying. But honestly…I’m not sure if I ever really thought I was ready for kids.
Now, I know no one is ever really ready for kids, but the whole idea that we were really going to be having kids, and TWINS, was something that I don’t really think I was ready for. I kind of wanted to change the topic sometimes when people started joking with me about how hard life was going to be, and I couldn’t really picture myself as a dad. I think I wanted kids once we found out, but…I’m not sure.
But as I was holding Micah and Judah last Monday, as I was talking to them as their daddy, as I was cradling them in my arms, I realized I was ready. And like Wolterstorff, I didn’t know much I wanted them, until they were gone. After the nurse came in and took Micah and Judah away at 10am, all I wanted was for them to come back. All I wanted was for all of this to go away, and for Micah and Judah to be born next year and to be able to care for them and love them.
I am a dad, even if it felt like it was for a relatively short time. But now I know I’m ready. And I’m not sure that I knew that before.