Something has been on my mind.
I read an article a little while back written by a woman who believed she had the answer to a fulfilling and committed marriage: lack of children.
When I read her piece I felt a serious sense of respect for her and the life she and her husband chooses to live, but had an equally strong opposing reaction: one that said, “My life is just as wonderful.”
I know in reading my response, the author, and possibly many others, may disagree. They may take my age into account, and how the journey of my life in the past twenty years has followed the path of least resistance towards getting married and making babies.
So I sit here, a young (somewhat) newlywed with my adorable wide-eyed baby on my hip and wonder: “Will anyone ever look at us years down the road and ask ‘Enjoy your honeymoon?’”
The answer is probably no. And I am more than okay with that.
Our honeymoon was wonderful, yes, we spent it packing our bags and making the trek to Israel to become permanent citizens. I held my newly-covered head high and smiled with the glow of the blissfully happy. Everything was right, every second was perfect. And it was also new.
I have started to learn what a marriage is. We haven’t been in the race long, but we are making incredible progress in the time that we have. It is not rainbows and sunshine at every moment, it is also about taking the rainy days and making them shine. It is maturing the relationship that was based on infatuation and newfound excitement and aging it into love and understanding.
While I don’t mean to say that the author and other ‘childfree’ couples don’t have this, I am saying that I do too. And that plenty of my friends who have young, blossoming families do as well. That having children is not a marital death sentence. It enhances the love that you have and makes what you feel for one another alive and tangible.
At one point in her article, the author wrote her biggest incentive for not having children: that those who don’t procreate end up “having their beloved to themselves and cultivating a devoted, satisfying relationship.” This struck me in a strong way because in my opinion, our daughter does not get in the way of a “devoted, satisfying relationship,” she strengthens it.
I don’t want to live forever in our honeymoon days. I so look forward to the steps that we are taking together further away from that time because in essence, the happiness we felt then does not even compare to the rich and intense happiness I feel now. I know that every day that we move down the line is only going to enhance that.
I suppose what I am trying to bring across is that every spit-up on shirt, every dirty diaper and every cry in the middle of the night makes my marriage stronger. Because quite simply, with all that going on, I have watched my family grow stronger and more united. Every dimpled smile from my little one is affirmation that my life is on the road meant for me. I love knowing that our daughter is proof of our commitment, and that will never change.