By the cracks of the skin I climbed to the top
I climbed the tree to see the world
When the gusts came around to blow me down
I held on as tightly as you held onto me
I held on as tightly as you held onto me……
– The Cinematic Orchestra: To Build A Home
One of my favorite people in the world happens to have been on this planet for a very short amount time so far. She’s an incredible light in my life, her name is Anna Belle, and she is my niece.
She’s the first baby branch off of an otherwise pretty narrow family tree. My brother Tim and his wife Martha (also some of my most favorite people) decided to have her when they got back stateside (he was in the military then) and floored my entire family when they announced that they were pregnant. I always figured they’d have children one day but I also figured that was still “down the road”.
But as we get older, that long winding road starts getting shorter doesn’t it?
As with many things, I’d lost track of time and failed to realize we were suddenly in our 30’s, a great time for sure, but also a time to seriously consider having children; if you plan on having them that is. And so Anna Belle was born and both Martha’s and my family have been smothering her with as much love as our tiny hearts can muster! Luckily she makes it pretty damn easy.
Aside from being adorable, she’s also whip smart, is talking and reading early, and appears to becoming a caring and compassionate little human. I could sling a million adjectives her way and they’d all stick so instead of that, I’ll just say this: she gives me hope.
Hope that her generation will indeed make this world a better, safer, more open and loving place.
So where are our little munchkins? Why don’t we contribute to the population with some little angels of our own? Well, that answer is simple and complicated all the same time.
So far, Melinda and I have absolutely no intention of having children. It’s not that we dislike children (we love them! Well… most of them…), or think that we don’t have the capacity to be good parents. It’s just a decision that we, at the moment, can’t make in good conscience. Forget the fact that the world, in it’s current incarnation, is so cruel, too static, detached and cold. Forget that. Our chief reason, is that we are thoroughly happy with the relationship we currently have. Our marriage rocks! Having kids, though a few new parents would love to tell us otherwise, would simply be too much of a game changer and we simply don’t want or need to change what we’ve already nurtured and loved all these years. If we had kids now it would a “just because” decision.
And if that isn’t the worst reason to willingly reproduce, it’s gotta be close.
I completely admire the good parents out there that are doing their best to raise wonderful people. It’s totally a gutsy move in my eyes. And in such cases, as with our beautiful niece, it’s completely paid off. Tim and Martha’s lives have been so enhanced by her presence and so have ours. When I hold her I do feel a pull. But it’s only on my heartstrings and not towards fatherhood.
Maybe someday, but that door is starting to close faster every minute that goes by.
And you know what? I am not worried about it at all! When or if it’s right, it’ll present itself that way. I’m so happy with Mel by ourselves that it feels “right” right now! There are never any doubts, never any “needs” other than to spend our lives together.
Just perfect if you ask me. Perfect like love when it’s pure!
Perfect like Anna Belle!