I remember the day the Carpenter looked up at me and with absolute sincerity said these fateful words: “Are we going to have kids one day, or what?”
Yep, the man is nothing short of poetic.

Please note there was no engagement ring on my finger, no vows yet exchanged. This was just a matter-of-fact inquiry to clarify if was I using him for his tool belt and strong forearms (who me?) or was I prepared to make an honest (cough) man out of him one day soon? And if so, was I going to commit to the whole baby thing?

You’re laughing, but I promise you this is exactly what he said to me. I remember it well. He does too. We were sitting in the backyard of his first house, watching our two big dogs rip around the yard. I was quite happy to co-parent drooling, shedding fur babies. Dogs were simple: babies were not.

At this point we had been dating for six long years. Everyone was putting the pressure on us to get married. We were resisting it at all costs, because we didn’t want to do anything people expected us to do, simply because they expected it. In all the ways that mattered the Carpenter and I were committed to one another. We had tested the waters. We did the long-distance thing. We did the live together thing. There was no denying we had found “the one.” Yet after watching our friends rush into matrimony, we were in no hurry to tie the knot.

All of a sudden, out of the blue, the Carpenter wanted urgent reassurance that a union would include a family. I was thrown off kilter. A range of emotions went through me: fear, terror, anxiety and this little twinge of well, I don’t know how to describe it. Longing? I knew one day I wanted a family, but I was thinking long range forecast. I had hit snooze on the body clock.

Look, I loved this man, but I saw how babies entered the world, and I knew in this case, it was going to be through me. The Carpenter’s entire being wasn’t going to change; mine was. He wasn’t going to get stretch marks, morning sickness or have a room full of medical professionals watching the birth of my child happen from an angle I didn’t even want to see. The Carpenter’s biological clock was ticking and he just triggered my alarm.

I thought seriously about jumping in my car and driving away. But I didn’t run. Instead, I looked into his brown eyes and realized this was the man I wanted to raise a family with, not only because of his poetic sensibilities, more because I couldn’t imagine my life without him. I knew he would be an incredible father and partner in this crazy ride of life. For once I was right.

Within a year, we were married and soon after our family began. The Carpenter is everything I hoped he would be as a father and partner. I am blessed.

And in those moments when parenting is not so much fun, I smile at the Carpenter and repeat these words: “Are we going to have kids one day, or what?”