Sunday, May 11, 2014

Cait is the mother of my children

Here's the thing about my view of Cait as a mother: I knew her for only about seven months before she got pregnant with Atticus on Christmas Eve in my childhood bed. I might also have been there. With how quickly she became sick, that pretty much marks the moment where motherhood fundamentally entered her daily life, at least in my mind.

So in less than 10 percent of the time I've known Cait, and about 4 percent of our married life, has Cait not been a mother. If we could go back and do it again, we probably would have waited. We also probably would have waited to get married. We probably also would have tried living together for a while before we got married. But that might have led us to never get married, or waiting for kids, we might have gotten divorced. Who knows?

I just finished reading 1Q84, which SPOILER ALERT tells the story of a man and a woman who enter into an alternate version of earth (which the woman calls 1Q84, as opposed to the 1984, the year she was living in before she shifted versions) in order to, fatefully, meet each other, as they never could have done so in the world they used to live in.

I feel like, in so many ways, Cait and I have been through the same thing. Looking back and seeing a world where we were so convinced of a guiding Spirit assuring us that it was not only okay, but divinely approved, that we commit to an entire lifetime and eternity together after only knowing each other for a few months and to rush with the same sense of inspiration into parenthood, well, it does seem like a completely different world. Just as in the 1Q84, it is not necessarily a better or worse world, just a fundamentally different world where such decisions made sense. Of course, we continue to rush here and there looking for our path in life, but under a completely different set of assumptions.

All this just leaves me in awe that through all that I've found a partner who fits me so well. People always ask me what Cait thinks about whatever faith step I'm taking, and I always have to pause and recognize, "right, this could be ten times worse, this could be tearing apart our family." We aren't without our difficulties, our disagreements, and our differences, but in this book of life, we have consistantly ended up on the same page, walking through the same shifting landscape together.

Another spoiler from the book, Aomame, the woman, ends up getting pregnant before she reunites with Tengo, the man, and somehow, in this crazy universe, the baby is Tengo's. So, pretty much just like us, they start off their relationship with a child, shifting immediately into the landscape of "you and me" to "us." And that's where the story ends, just where ours began.

This is a roundabout way of saying that Cait is a great mother. She's a great mother because, through all these transitions, she's kept her focus firmly on making sure our family stays together, stays healthy and stays exceptionally frugal. I think the thing I am most proud of is that through all the tough times of our faith transition, our kids haven't ever had to suffer the effects of the transitions, that we've kept the way smooth for them.

Cait epitomizes the family/life balance that seems so elusive in our modern world. She doesn't let one world dominate the other, nor does she ask for too much validation from either side. Confident that she can accomplish greatly, she walks forward with mindful presence and tempered passion, firmly rooted in a core identity that grants her a grace and poise that is rare indeed.

I couldn't have asked for a better partner to make this journey with.


  1. This is very sweet and well written.

  2. Tim, this is such a wonderful post. Incredibly thoughtful and real. So much so that I felt compelled to write a comment and tell you...even though I lurk most times :)