We did things all "out of order." The song says first comes love, then come marriage and then comes a baby in a baby carriage. In fact, that was the plan from the start. I would move in with Mike, we'd get engaged, we get married and then someday there'd be a baby. Simple.
Except nothing ever is. The song doesn't account for Mike becoming a young dad only to abandoned by his wife when Isaac was under a year. The song did not account for the recession or back surgery, either.
I'm not much for unsubstantiated "have to"s. These days I'm not the only one either: (excerpts from my post on The Hedgehog Blog It's called Love, Baby Carriage...Marriage?)
"Here's a statistic I read while pregnant: "60% of all couples in the United States live together before they get married and 1/3 of them have babies first."Don't get me wrong I'm not arguing that everyone's doing it, but in my opinion that has been a lot of people's argument for marriage. I'm simply saying we have choices and people seem more aware of them than in the past.
"I have a baby. I am not married. Believe me there are people who wanted me to rush to a court house the minute the test showed two lines. I, however, do not own a time machine and in my opinion being pregnant before you're married doesn't change if you have a marriage license before anyone finds out. Also, pregnancy was not a good enough reason to make that kind of commitment especially in a big rush."Again, it's great when everything goes according to plan, but sometimes it doesn't. I had my beautiful girl at the only time it was physically possible. God, knows what he's doing. Now that the window of opportunity for having babies is closed and our "blended family" is complete:
"It seemed more important to be validated and have some ceremony and contract...shouldn't I get a big party in honor of the partnership I was already committed to?"So, now I'm healing from the surgery Riley is approaching two and were settled into our new home. Just as my brain allowed the wedding planning thoughts out of the basement where they were locked away, events unfolded that gave me pause: (excerpts from another Hedgehog Blog post called If Love Were an Airplane Nobody'd Get On)
"Recently, some couples close to me split up. Married people with families...I suddenly felt hopeless. They had it all together, they were happy and they didn't make it. I'm a disaster and we're always working through things. Our odds must be negative numbers." Getting married wasn't a decision I came to lightly, but when I did I held tightly to the success stories.
"The news...over and over that people I thought had the answers are calling it quits...From where I sit they were what I aspired to. They had love, children, friendship and it seemed to me that had...the immunization against the statistics...If I could find the answers they [we'd make it]." I even thought once or twice, "but they did it the right way." The right way being: dated for a long time, got engaged, married and then had babies. I've got a bit of a complex about doing things the right way, but in the end there seems to only be the way they happen, for better or worse.
"I often think if we can work though this issue we'll be ready or if we get past that we'll get married...I don't think you're supposed to get an A+ on being a couple and then earn the gold star of marriage. Maybe the idea is you get married and agree to spend the rest of your lives getting it right." I hope I'm right about that last part. I can't imagine promising before God to love Mike forever, but I can certainly give it all I've got on a day to day basis. Maybe, it's a holdover from school, but I keep thinking if I do the right things in the right order I'll be rewarded. It's been so hard for so long I think I deserve some easy, happy times.
It's not studying for a final and then the class is over. It's forever. It's hard now and it'll be hard later too, but there will some happiness in there too. We're just signing up for more of what life has to offer, together. Sometimes it feels less like "Happily Ever After" and more like "Once More Into the Breech..."