Years that ask questions, years that answer
A year ago today he asked me to marry him. Jokingly, but sincere.
We were on a new path, or perhaps better said, we were finally on our path — and not falling off every drunken, irritable Friday night. We had a dog who we were obsessed with and brought us closer than ever, and in mid-summer, during a drive out to the North Fork, we started talking about having a baby. “You know, we could do this out of order,” he said, meaning baby before wedding, and it was the first time I had any real idea he was ready to do this with me. I was surprised, amazed, and nervous. So this is how it begins.
We tabled the discussion for the time being. I felt like we had to retreat and regroup, figure out if we were serious. I tried it out on my sister, mom, and a couple friends — soooo we’ve started talking about having a baby — and their approval, admittedly somewhat tentative, surprised me. Did they really think we were ready for this? (It’s hard to stop thinking of yourself as a 22-year-old who shouldn’t be in charge of her own life decisions — even if that was a full decade ago.)
Then the pre-engagement, the wedding contract (the huge deposit). This was happening. By the end of October, we had a date, and over the next month and a half, I can’t remember how or when or what words were said, but we started talking baby again. We started doing the math: you know, if we got pregnant by X date, the baby would be Y months old at the wedding….
I do remember that last pill. Tossing the unfinished pack away. I wasn’t yet confident enough in our decision to admit to anyone I’d done it, and it wasn’t until January that I got up the nerve to make an appointment with my gynecologist to discuss whatever pre-“trying” stuff we were supposed to discuss. I had no idea if we could get pregnant in the short time frame we’d given ourselves — or if we could at all. There were too many unknowns, and I kept it all pretty down-low.
But M. — bless him — already had a bit of that proud papa in him. That December, mere days after the last pill, at a very happy, very wine-drunk dinner at my friends’ new Connecticut home, in front of half of my closest friends and their husbands, he ting’d his glass — actually ting’d his glass — and announced, somewhat incoherently, that we had officially started trying.
I was mor.ti.fied. But also touched. He was really freaking excited and how can you be a mad at a guy for that?
And now here we are. Within sight of meeting our daughter. It is, I’m sure, the greatest decision we’ve ever made.
I look back and I realize our path was made by walking. Being in a relationship is about asking the right questions at the right time — and letting the answers light the way.