Our lives forever changed on August 14, 2008 with the arrival of our first “miracle baby”. Five years prior to this day, we sat in a doctor’s office and digested the news that we would never have children. After the initial shock wore off, we chose to believe that somehow, when the time was right, we would conceive. During those nearly five years of marital bliss, alone with my husband, we traveled, slept in at least two Saturdays a month, ate out two-three times a week and enjoyed spontaneous dates of getting in the car and just riding and talking until we felt like stopping. We laughed at those who told us to enjoy this “freedom” because as soon as we had children, things would forever change. We didn’t really believe anything would be different. We thought we would just simply pack him/her up and go with the flow.
Well, those spontaneous dates have taken a back seat to the arrival of our children—two girls and a boy. All of these miracle babies have given us so much joy and added so much laughter and excitement to our lives but our lives are certainly different. Our thoughts are focused on their livelihood and wellbeing and ensuring they have things we didn’t. Our schedules are filled with their activities—birthday parties, sleepovers, field trips, gymnastics, dance recitals, art lessons, and the list goes on. Our priorities have become making sure they have clothes, shoes, coats, a decent home, an endless supply of food and nice friends. Sacrifice has become my friend. Many times I go without to make sure they don’t. And I believe that’s okay.
Birthing a baby is so much more than the glamorous celebration that we see in movies. It’s a life-changing event we are privileged to experience. It’s the beginning of an entire lifetime of memories, changes and sacrifices. And even after they grow up and go off to college and get married and have their own children, they will still be creating memories for us and changing our lives somehow. I’m sure I’ll still be sacrificing something so they can have something. And so, nine years after our lives changed forever, I’m still spinning in this cycle of life known as parenthood and learning to enjoy every moment.
~Coletta Jones Patterson