My wife and I had discussed numerous times about inviting someone to come live with us. We knew it would be long term. We knew once they moved in they would be with us for many, many years. We also knew that they would not be able to care for themselves for many years. It was a commitment we felt we were ready for.
The process of finding this roommate wasn’t up to us. All we could do was take the necessary steps to ensure we’d be selected. However, once selected, none of the options would be decided by us. It would be either a boy or a girl. There was even the possibility we could get both a boy and a girl or two of the same gender. Again, it wasn’t up to us.
Our hope was that this person we brought into our home would eventually be able to help out with cleaning and cooking and provide some intelligent conversation and laughter.
What if they’re ugly?
Naturally, a few questions crossed our minds. What if we don’t like this person? What if this person doesn’t like us? What if they’re ugly? What if we aren’t ready? What if we don’t get who we think we want? What if we do? What if … Well, the what if list stretched longer than Route 66.
It was much like a blind date with the added variable that we didn’t even know if our date was going to be male or female.
Then it was finally time to meet our new roommate. At the hospital. Turns out we fell in love with him at first sight.
Isn’t having a baby much like inviting an unknown person to be a roommate for 18+ years? Of course, it’s a person we get to raise, educate, and influence. But, for the most part, they are their own person. Complete with their own personalities. Compete with their own stubbornness, their own affectionate ways. And it’s all up to the egg and the fastest swimmer.
And therein is born a chance meeting that creates a bond to withstand time and space. We love them, nurture them, and teach them. In return, they teach us, they love us unconditionally, and they show us our true self. They make this job called parenting possible. They make it worth every frustratingly joyous moment.
We invited this chance meeting twice. Both times we were blessed with boys. Turns out that’s exactly what we needed. Sure it’s noisy. Sure it’s dirty. However, no differently than a daughter, when they wrap their arms around our neck we know all is right in the world. These little creatures, these little balls of energy are the reason we love this career above all others.
Meet today’s author, Eric Wood
I am a warrior of the wee ones. I battle through the noise and dirt in daylight. I am a defender of the bedtime stories, standing guard in the darkness. I know the struggle, I know the pride of victory and I’ll protect them all. Parenting can be a person’s greatest source of frustration and joy. I’m no different. I just do what most dads do in the daily life of their kids. I’m often torn between one kid upstairs in the bathroom hollering that he’s all done pooping and the other in the basement hollering that he needs help finding the right Lego piece. So, I’m here to remind you that you are not alone.
Eric writes as Stomperdad at All in A Dad’s Work. He’s generous, kind, and hilarious! He’s also brave enough to answer the questions only his curious offspring (Crash and Bang) can ask. Have YOU ever seen a gireep? If you haven’t already, be sure to check out his site and read about his adventures in parenting and life.
Eric and I connected through our mutual passion for our children, leading a gratitude-filled life, and running. We differ in that he likes to count his miles in kilometers, and I always end up with a headache after making the conversion.
Thank you, Eric, for sharing your time, insights, and poignant stories with us. You rock! Now – give me 10! (K)