An Unexpected Joy
A sign in our daughter’s bedroom reads: “A baby fills a place in your heart you never knew was empty.”
Before becoming a father, I would have thought this expression too saccharine.
Wow, people can change – dramatically. I’m now a walking billboard of that expression.
When I married at 22, it wasn’t because I wanted to hurry up and start making babies. I gave myself a five-year minimum rule. My wife, Kimberly, scoffed.
But a friend and former boss once said that if you always tell yourself you have to wait until you have everything lined up properly, have your finances just right, then you will keep putting it off.
On our second wedding anniversary, Kimberly’s pregnancy test was positive. We kept our dinner plans at The Barrel House, but dinner that evening was clearly a different experience than the one we expected.
I didn’t freak out. I didn’t cry. I wasn’t overcome with overwhelming joy or euphoria. But …
I did feel something.
It was like a slow, inaudible click occurred inside me, and a strange calm took over. I felt relaxed. I liked this new idea and the pleasant feeling that came along with it.
I remember I gave a slight, genuine smile that widened as I hugged Kimberly. She had more jitters, with the realization that a little life was inside, soon to grow and bloom.
I loved the time when my wife was pregnant. I immersed myself in each stage, devouring as much information with her as I could along the way. I loved my new role.
Yet, while we knew what to expect when she was expecting, we were mindful that we didn’t really know much of anything at all.
And then, as the famous expression suggests, my heart grew when I suddenly had my daughter – and several years later, a son – to love and care for more than anyone else.
–Scott Klepach, Jr.
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