Ring, white lace, Paris, baby. Throughout the engagement, that was my life in my head. In that order, in that fast, quick succession. No breathing, just go. The idea of bringing a newborn into the world fascinated me and my then-fiancé. Oh, the possibilities of a mini me! Oh, what a new and exciting world! I was born (pun intended) ready!
And then we got married. And then there were only two types of people:
1. 'So, are you pregnant yet?'
2. 'Give yourselves time.'
# 1 was expected. What else do you ask a newlywed couple after you've ticked off the honeymoon inquiries? #2 was not. #2 did not fit the vision of marriage I had in my head. For some reason, I always thought that people would push for a third member at once, especially in our familial culture. No need to wait, you'll learn along the way. So I asked them, why? Why do we need time?
'Because you need to learn how to be a wife first.'
And then I breathed a little. I felt the air in my head clear, my heart lighten. 'I told you, Deanne, it's okay,' I thought to myself. The perfectionist in me said that I could do it right away. I could be married and be a mother in no time, with just a few qualms and scruples I could easily get rid of. If others were able to do it, so can I. After all, I'm young; I can handle it. But I also remember a small voice in my head telling me to cruise. Not to pull the brakes totally but to cruise along, to be a wife first because being a girlfriend and a fiancée are far different roles from being someone else's other half.
As I tallied the married days and saw it increase from one to twelve to twenty to fifty, I realized that there were things to do, skills to learn, rooms to fill, and a wife to become. I owed that, and continue to owe that, to my husband and to our marriage every single day. That's what I vowed in front of the altar: 'I vow to create our own world that only you and I will understand.'
Now is the most perfect time to do that, to discover and truly know each other. In this sacred, quiet space created for me and my husband. And when we will be finally, finally blessed with the sweetest opportunity to cradle the little, precious one in our arms, we can whisper into the babe's ears, 'We've been waiting for you, our love. Dad and Mom are ready.'
We won't be perfect but we'll be better. We'll be ready.