Family Non-Fiction posted October 1, 2013

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A blessing full of accidents

Timing In Life Is Everything

by forestport12

Procreation was easy, raising kids, not so much. I'm also destined to tell you the timing method was unreliable. This has had a generational impact on my family, for sure. My seventy-eight-year-old mother, God bless her soul, would tell you the timing method was the catholic form of birth control in her day. My evil stepsister had a profound way of explaining to us younger siblings where we fitted into the scheme of things. "None of you," she said, "were meant to be."

Having come from a broken home I wanted something different. I wanted to be a loving father and husband. Sometimes when you come from a bad situation, you try harder to be different from mom and dad. And yes I know, we often carry some baggage from our past.

Over the years, I discovered the timing method was a lot more fun than a condom. Our first two were planned and perfect. The last three became a sticky situation, to say the least. I know accidents happen. But they were not the kind that left you mangled or stuck in a hospital bed for an indefinite time. Accident or not, the last three were conceived in love. At the end of the day we'd circle the wagons of our love. We rallied in the ninth and embraced life. It's never been easy.

As long as I live, I will never forget the time I announced to my father that our fourth child was in the oven, so to speak. My father railed on me, and asked me how I could let this happen. If he'd been happy about it, I would have conferred with him that the old rhythm method didn't work in his day and still doesn't in the modern age. But I was mad. As the door slammed in his face, I told him what I thought. "I've always taken care of my children and God willing, I will be a good provider for each and everyone."

I didn't know it then, but my father was shaken by this proclamation. He did something I will never forget. A few days later, he drove over to our house. When I saw him hobble out of his car in the driveway, my heart floundered. I watched this once virile man, now weathered and broken, limping toward our door. When I answered the knock, he had a sad and wrinkled look. "I just wanted to tell you that I'm sorry for what I said. This baby will be a blessing."

That was all it took for me to cave in and thank him. I felt my steely heart turn into liquid fire. I embraced our future. Unfortunately, my father passed away a few months later and was unable to be there to hold another grandchild, but his words held us all.

Having passed through the fire, you would have thought I should man up and have enough sense to get a vasectomy. I initiated the process and then chickened out. A few months later, my wife was pregnant with our fifth and final child. Each time she trusted me with the timing method. After all, I considered myself athletic. But all it takes is one errant throw from the quarterback or his getting sacked in the process. One mistake.

When my wife had shared the news of her latest pregnancy, I had just received word that we were losing our best cleaning contract ever, one that had us traveling the whole north east and brought in more than one hundred thousand per year. It was ninety-five percent of our business. When she broke the news, I simply fell down at her feet and curled into a fetal position. I wept like a baby. After several minutes, I stood up, embraced her, and I embraced life. After all, none of our children, thank goodness, were a product of violence in the womb. They were an expression of our love. We had our share of problems with finances and fights, but at the end of the day before the sun went down, we knew how to love.

We are all faced with significant choices and sometimes we ride against the current. I can choose to tell my last three children they were an accident, or I can dig deeper, go long and throw them the mother of all bombs. I can tell them they were conceived in love, and that is all that matters. They are teenagers, healthy and blessed. If I told them this today, they'd likely run to another room, trying to get that image out of their head. But when the day comes, and they have a family of their own, they may appreciate the proclamation. And if they need me, I will be at their door, ready to spoil their accident. And no matter, I will tell my latest grandchild he or she was meant to be.

We can choose to love. Love reminds us we are made in the image of God. Accident or purpose, you may have to find where you are in the mix. But don't forget, love can help you find the way.

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