Chrissy and I married young. Well, young, I guess, by current standards. I was 21 and she was 20. We were married for 10 years before we had our first child. In that decade, we saw scores of friends, friends of friends, co-workers, acquaintances, etc. get married and move into parenthood. We had a front row seat for watching "cool" people turn into moms and dads...and, from our perception, those titles were impossible to ever be combined. We watched husbands and wives start to dress alike. We witnessed the transformation of "funny single guys" into passive "yes dear" husbands who were afraid to sneeze for fear of reproof by their wives. We saw all kinds of kooky stuff go down as we watched from afar and secretly longed to be them. Well, at least longed for the parenthood part.
But the one thing that happened with pretty much everyone who had kids was that they talked about their kids all the time. All the time!!! ALL. THE. TIME. "This one walked", "that one said this", "She rolled over", "he pooped in the potty", "she has 9 teeth", "this one ate a dime", "This one loves books/legos/cars/dolls/blocks/penguins/vegetables/sleeping/not sleeping/whatever".....it made me crazy. Shut up about your kid. I pretty much can't stand your kid. I'd probably like him more if you'd stop talking about him for 2 seconds and breathe. I'd have conversations like this with my wife:
"Chrissy, I don't want to go to the _________________ (insert location/activity/event) because _________________ (insert name of annoying parents) will be there and so will their wiener kid ___________(insert name of wiener kid) who they never shut up about. Every time I see them these days it makes me want to ________________ (insert creative/humorous self injury) and bleed out all over the floor."
I vowed never EVER to be like these guys when I became a parent.
Now...you all know how this plays out, right?
I am That Guy
and I love it.
I get it. I didn't then, but I get it now. These people talked about their children all the time because that became their whole lives and the sum of so much of their love/energy/time/money/mindspace. The successes of their children became their successes, their children's failures and frustrations were theirs. As their children were discovering the world, so were they. And not in some unhealthy, vicarious way, but through the eyes, mind, and heart of a parent who has dedicated themselves fully to the success of their child.
I LOVE talking about my kids. I talk about them all the time. Because that's what I've got in my life. My Kids. My Wife. My God. Those 3 things are the subject matter of about 97% of what I talk about in casual conversation. I'm sure that there are people who hear me and think about me what I thought about those parents back before I was one myself. And I'm fine with that. Just like they were fine with it back then.
3 John 1:4 reads:
"I have no greater joy than to hear of my children walking in The Truth".
That verse is right on.
When I hear Gavin walking through the house singing a hymn to The Lord. When he recited his catechism during family worship. When he initiates prayer for a need that arises. There truly is no greater joy than to witness that.
Ivy will be there soon, and when she is, I'll tell you all about it.
Whether you want to hear about it or not.