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On Unclehood

The two things that have been most important in my life are faith and family.  I cannot imagine  anything more important than these two things.    More than anything else, these things have guided my choices in life.  I have always striven to make responsible choices and live in a way that is consistent with these values.  I have always attempted to put family first before jobs or money or any material thing.  As such, this has been a very exciting and happy time for me.

This past weekend, my family got a little larger.  I’m sure most everyone reading this probably already knows this, but my brother and his wife had their first child this weekend.  It was a fun trip up to Chicago.  I’m glad I was able to be there to support him and to see the new life he helped bring into the world.  It was an exciting time.  We had a nerve wracking several hours in the hospital waiting room with Megan’s family.  It’s quite stressful when all you can do is wait.  Still, it was wonderful to have both families together to support the new parents and welcome the new life into the world.

Surely, I thought as I waited, this child will be fortunate.  He will have two loving parents, and two loving families to help him learn and grow to be a happy, healthy and good person.  Even as I write, however, I consider that for the child, it won’t be two families.  It will just be one family, his family.  If marriage begins the process of bringing two families together, surely childbirth completes the process.  One precious little life from two people uniting two families.  It truly is a miraculous thing.

I was able to hold baby Will in his first day on planet Earth.  It is a memory I will surely always treasure.  I look forward to seeing him grow and mature and learn.  I look forward to seeing him grow and mature and maybe one day have children of his own.  Seeing a new generation come into the world is certainly a powerful experience.  At one point, my brother said to me, “you look pretty good holding a baby, you should have one” or something of the sort.  I sort of laughed it off, but the whole experience has made me think.  Through most of my life, I’ve thought I wouldn’t have children of my own.  This entire process has given me pause, and caused me to consider what I might be missing.

Changing my mind is something that I do often.  It’s a common occurrence, and I personally think that’s a good thing.  It is good to keep one’s mind open, and avoid rigid thinking. It’s one thing to change my mind, but to actually think of starting a family of my own is something else entirely.  For a normal person, marriage and family are daunting challenges, and they are challenges that many couples fail, and those failures have consequences.  Divorce and dysfunction can have powerful effects on children.  I’m the sort of person that’s apt to wilt under even moderate pressures, so I wonder if taking on that amount of responsibility would be wise.  It’s one thing to screw up my own life.  To screw up someone else’s life is something I’d have trouble living with.  The point is probably moot anyway.  I’m picky about who I even spend time with, and who I call friend.  To find someone I could actually live with, and who could live with me would be a tall order.  I’d be willing to wager the Cubs win a World Series before that happens.

It’s all the more reason to be satisfied with the blessings I have, and they are many.  I consider myself fortunate to have a great family, and I will always treasure them.  I also can count a new blessing in the form of a beautiful baby Nephew.

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