I am eavesdropping on a young married couple during church. When the young woman asks her newly acquired husband, “Don’t you think it is time we start a family?” She crinkles her nose and bats her eyelashes. My first thought was, “Here? Now?”
But, I get a hold of myself and then a sudden nostalgia hits me and I remember back many years ago when my too kind and loving wife asked me that question.
“Don’t you think it is time we start a family?”
This isn’t like the “Would you like fries with that?” question. It is more like a “Did Adam have a belly button?” question. This is an important question! But my too kind and loving wife asks questions like this all the time.
In fact, my wife asks too many questions. “Don’t you think the grass needs mowed?” “Would you like to help with the dishes?” “Can we just cuddle?”
Do women read these questions at the checkout line while flipping through magazines? “No, the grass doesn’t need mowed.” “No, I don’t want to help with the dishes.”
What does she think I am going to say? “You know, I would really love it if we could just cuddle tonight. I am so tired.”
For heck sakes, I could have just run the Newspapers Rock 10K and had major surgery and the answer to that question is still, “No I don’t want to just cuddle.”
So when she asked “Don’t you think it is time to start a family?” I felt like I was pretty safe, mostly because I was young and stupid like the guy sitting on the pew in front of me. I mean, who really thinks of starting a family?
Gosh of all the things I have started; starting a family certainly sounded like the least threatening or difficult. I mean up to that point in time I had started all kinds of things I never finished. I started homework, I started a new diet, I started writing in my journal, I started voting, and I even started saving money one time.
I never finished any of them, so why worry about such a little thing as starting a family?
Besides what am I supposed to say when she says, “Don’t you think it is time to start a family?” and she is wearing a cute little Teddy or crinkles her nose at me.
I was 21 years old and had no rational brain cells in my entire body. What I mean by rational brain cells are brain cells that think of long term consequences. Up to that point in my life, my idea of long term was how long was Chinese food good for?
Besides, asking me if I want to start a family while dressed in a Teddy and batting her eyelashes at me is like Mrs. Praying Mantis asking Mr. Praying Mantis, “Don’t you think it is time to start a family?”
Of course he knows what is going to happen. Mrs. Praying Mantis is going to eat Mr. Praying Mantis for dinner with a salad and chilled red wine. But of course, he says, “Sure. Good idea.”
So when my too kind and loving wife asked me years ago, “Don’t you think it is time to start a family?” Of course I said, “Sure. Great idea.”
Pathetic creature that I am. How was I to know there was fine print to the contract and I would never have money again and that babies turned into teenagers?
Oh sure, for the first ten years, my wife knew all about the children. She knew about dentist appointments, soccer games, romances, best friends, favorite foods, underwear sizes, and secret fears and hopes and dreams... I was vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.
So there is the poor guy sitting in the pew in front of me trying to answer the question his lovely bride had just propositioned him with, “Don’t you think it is time we start a family?”
He looks a little confused and answers, “Here? Now?”
I want to slap him upside the head and scream, “No not here and now. It’s a trick. Go back. Don’t do it. They become teenagers and they need braces and prom dresses, and they will wreck your car, and then they go away to college and you have to borrow from your 401K.”
He didn’t listen. I chuckle and think, “This isn’t Chinese food, man; pay attention or you’ll be driving a mini-van in less time than it takes for someone to offer the closing prayer.”