And After, Kids

Katie and I were married on a beautiful August afternoon. After the wedding a lot of our family and friends jokingly asked how long it would be before we had kids, a question that we would respond to with a good-natured laugh. We're in our late twenties, and while some of our peers have a decent start on building a family we had no intention of starting soon. Both Katie and I have a lot of ideas and ambitions right now, plans that don't factor in kids for a number of years to come. So it came with a fair amount of shock that we found out that Katie was pregnant not three months after the wedding.

We talked a lot about kids both before and after the wedding. It's something that we wanted to do… later. Later was never really well defined, nor was the reasons for waiting. There are a few big goals that I have that may or may not actually come to fruition, like hiking the Appalachian Trail and backpacking across Europe. Katie has a few ideas of going on big, cool trips and cruises. However, nothing was set solid in timelines or milestones, which gave them (and starting a family) a dangerous chance of being perpetually postponed.

After the initial surprise of finding out the next step was an immediate sharpening of focus. Those big goals were replaced by smaller, more attainable ones. Rough timelines sprung up out of necessity. We're just through the first trimester (no, the baby was not conceived out of wedlock), so we have plenty of time to prepare in the coming months.

Knowing that I'm going to be a father has also given me a bit of a new perspective. You don't always get to plan for this stage of life. Whether it's by societal pressure or just plain accidental, you don't always get to choose your path or role. Sometimes you need to roll with the punches and just try the best you can. Being a father is going to be tough, just like being a husband can be difficult at times, but I can say with certainty that I'm forward to starting a family with Katie.