“I finished my day a little early, want to meet for dinner tonight?” Her husband asked as they both climbed into their cars in different parking lots in very different locations. One had finished a demanding day of meetings, classes, teaching classes, and teaching privately, in addition to practicing his trade, and the other had spent the day packaging books, managing the phones, and handling customers until sundown. Life had acquired a special little rhythm in which the two were quite comfortable and happy living together. It was finally a peaceful and settled routine.
“Sure, I’m starving. Let’s go to the taco place close to work,” she suggested, starting the car.
“Okay, I’ll be there in a few minutes.” They hung up and not but ten minutes later were greeting each other outside the restaurant under fading blue skies with a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
He ordered. She picked a table.
She grabbed the napkins. He filled the drinks.
They bantered back and forth about their day for a few minutes, and then the food arrived.
They both eagerly dressed their tacos, said a blessing and began devouring their food. All was orderly, calm, and serene, regardless of the restaurant’s devil mascot with a pitchfork hanging precariously over their heads.
“I think I’ll stop at the grocery store on the way home and pick up a couple of pregnancy tests.”
All she could truly focus on at the time of the casually dropped news was the deliciousness she held in her hand and her heart was full of all she desired… Food. More specifically, Tacos. “Man, these tacos are so amazing!”
It had taken a full forty-five seconds of silence for her to glance up at the shock registered on her husband’s face with his hands halfway to his face, mid-bite across from her.
He regained his composure enough to mumble something in response. “You think we’re pregnant?” He looked at her and glanced down at her stomach.
She took another enormous bite of taco and closed her eyes in pleasure with a satisfied, “mmmmm,” before even registering what he had said.
Obviously, he needed no further explanation.
This extraordinary journey has started in the most ordinary way. School, work, and a couple of tacos… But I want to talk a little bit about the ordinary acts in the beginning of this journey, not just the ordinary circumstances.
I can’t fully express the love my husband has given me since that day I almost gave him a heart attack at a taco restaurant, but I want to try. He’s been patient, understanding, kind, and loyal to me even when I wasn’t loyal to myself. I didn’t exactly ease him into whole, “you’re going to be a dad” thing, and in fact, I was pretty consumed with the idea of food at the time. You always know it’s a possibility living the life that we do, but until that possibility becomes reality, you don’t realize how extraordinary pregnancy is for a husband and wife.
I’m not just talking about the science or biology of the thing… I’m talking about the beautiful, extraordinary journey of love that occurs. I can’t condense it into the love between spouses. Or even the love between the future parents with their child, because it’s both of those, and more. Somehow, it’s like the world opens up and you see and experience love everywhere. And it’s not just that romantic love that has its place in an early relationship; it’s a love that goes much deeper… It’s appreciation, selflessness, and most of all, it’s sacrificial.
In the first trimester, I often wondered when I would start to “feel pregnant.” I knew that I was, I could see my body changing, but I just didn’t feel it. Even when I began feeling Eliot kick in my second trimester, I still didn’t “feel pregnant.” I was looking for that motherly, nurturing, loving feeling for my son that I knew would come, but wasn’t sure when. Would it come all at once, or would it come gradually?
It wasn’t through any extraordinary event that I began to feel it. It was through the ordinary works of my husband that exhibited his extraordinary love for me. The love of Christ through my husband’s willing hands and heart is what truly showed and gave me a sense of nurturing love for my son.
The sweetness of my husband’s open arms when he would observe me laughing hysterically at a joke and then not a moment of transition would occur and I would be melting into tears over the same joke.
The selflessness to wake up, help me sit up in bed, and guide me as I walked unstably to the bathroom four times a night.
The sacrifice in the rearrangement of every class, event, and piece of his schedule necessary so that he could come to every doctor’s appointment because he knew I was phobic of the doctor’s office.
The kindness of his coming to my whimpering calls at four in the morning to sit with me on the cold floor and dipping washcloths in cool water to ease my nausea.
All of these ordinary acts show his extraordinary virtue and sacrificial love, and I’ve fallen into deeper love with my husband through them. Gradually, I’ve grown closer to my Maker through them. And finally, I’ve realized a love for this little child in my womb, and my heart swells with love whenever I wake up and eat my ordinary toast and fruit as an act of extraordinary love until he can be in my arms.
I was looking before for some extraordinary feeling for Eliot that would just happen. But I was shown that it’s the ordinary acts that bring about that extraordinary love (which also brings about the feeling of protective, motherly, nurturing, and sacrificial love).
And if we’re talking about the ordinary leading to the extraordinary… does anyone want some of those tacos I mentioned at the start of this post? No? Just me? Okay…