A Fool’s Errand, Accomplished

Several years, my boyfriend and I asked my mother an innocent, hypothetical question: “Would you prefer we get married but not have kids, or have kids without being married?” My mom began sobbing uncontrollably.

My dad kept repeating, “It’s okay, dear. It was just a hypothetical.” But it wasn’t okay.

My mom was born and raised Catholic. Prior to her conception, there has been several miscarriages, so my grandmother prayed daily for a child “with a good constitution”. My mom was considered her parent’s miracle baby, and she has thus felt a lifelong obligation to her faith.

In the Catholic church, marriage comes first. Without a wedding, there should be no children. To violate that is to live in sin.

My boyfriend and I would love to be married and start a family, but our hands are tied due to disability marriage penalties. Our state’s Vocational Rehabilitation program has agreed to pay for his schooling and, by delaying marriage, he will able to finally start his career in his late-40s with no student debt. Were we to marry now, we would not be able to ever afford kids. We we to wait until he was out of school, we may be past the window of fertility.

For months, we’ve been wanting to breach the question again with my mom: “If we were to start a family before getting married, would we have your support?” It’s been impossible for me to ask, as I don’t want to make my mom cry and I’ve been worried that her answer may leave me in tears.

So, my ever-brilliant boyfriend had an idea. Let’s ask on April Fool’s Day so that we can claim it to be a cruel joke if things don’t go well. So smart!! I can blame him, the prankster, if things go south.

So, we both laid foundation, I completely chickened out, and my boyfriend asked the question.

Much to my surprise, my mom responded, “You have our blessing”, before he even finished asking the question. “Babysitting?! Whatever you need, you know we’ll help you.” My dad chimed in that maybe he can even retire early to help out. No only were they accepting, but they were enthusiastic. They emphasized that they still have our childhood books sitting on shelves, patiently waiting for a new reader to arrive.

I’m still in shock. I was expecting tears, broken hearts, and hashing out solutions that just aren’t feasible. Instead, there was immense joy. So. Much. Joy.

My boyfriend claims to have sensed it would go well. My younger brother has never dated and my younger sister has made it abundantly clear she never wants kids. We’re my parents’ last hope, and they’re desperate to be grandparents. Maybe he is right. Or, perhaps, they’re realizing that, in the eyes on God, ten years of love and commitment is as good as a ring.

We still need to sort our out health issues, which are a mess, and find out if we even can have children. My boyfriend wants to get through the first set of board exams first to ensure he’s on the path to a decent career. We’ll need to remediate and offload our current lemon of a home and secure a safe, mold-free living space. It will be a 2.5-year journey, at least. But once those criteria are met–wow–we have my parent’s blessing to start a family without first being married, and we will have their support if and when that time comes.

The whole ordeal felt like a fool’s errand, but here we are on the other side having succeeded and I can’t stop smiling.

24 thoughts on “A Fool’s Errand, Accomplished

  1. Wow! What an incredible blessing to have!

    Of course, the risks of a pregnancy on your health are very real. I had chronic Shingles, which flared during the entire pregnancy and post-pregnancy time. I wanted to have more kids, but knew I simply couldn’t physically endure another pregnancy, and if I wanted to be able to take care of my 1 child, another pregnancy wouldn’t allow that. I had asked my husband if he would consider adopting, but he was against it, so we only had 1 child.

    Please work closely with your doctors on this, and even be open to other options. Wishing you both blessing along this journey.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Tamara! Yes, it really is such a blessing! I’m glad to hear you listened to your body and were able to do what felt right for you. I know the pregnancy can be very rough on some women.

      We are very much aware of the risks, so will work closely with practitioners to make sure we’re both in great health, and in the position to nutritionally support a pregnancy and healthy child. We have at least 2.5 years before we start trying, so we’re hoping to get all of our ducks in a row by then. I think this was just the motivation I needed to really commit to doing all we can to restore our health.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I love how you are thinking about the future well before it is time, and how you are intent on moving forward. This is great to hear!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have very strong tendencies toward “being prepared” and “considering all possible outcomes”, so I suppose it’s only natural, though this will be entirely new type of event we’ll be planning for. We’re talking to our mold doctor about a new treatment tomorrow, and now they we have my parents’ blessing we can redirect funds to seeing a fertility specialist to ensure our bodies are primed to support not only a safe and healthy pregnancy, but a totally healthy child. It may or may not be in the cards for us, but we’re hopeful. 🥰

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Wow! You have a lot to manage, but I’m sure you will work you way through all the steps carefully and methodically. Praying for a very positive outcome!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I can’t stop smiling either! What a great title given your April Fools fall back. But it’s amazing how doors open when the time is right and this one has me feeling the shivers. Beautiful, Erin!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Wynne!! 🥰 You’re so right–it really is amazing that the doors that seem immovable sometimes open in their own time. Coincidentally, we received a call from our mold doctor last week that there is a promising treatment available, so there may be several doors opening for us. Time to let some light in! 🌟 Seeing your parenting journey has been such a inspiration to me, so thank you so much for sharing your story so openly! ❤️❤️❤️

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Time to let some light in! I love it — and great news about the promising treatment. That’s wonderful!

        I’m so touched to hear that my parenting journey has made a difference. It took me a long time to whip up the courage – but I was pregnant only 3 months after my first visit the fertility clinic. Sometimes when doors open – it’s FAST! 🙂

        Liked by 3 people

      2. Wow, how amazing!! Yes, I think you’re right–if it’s time for a particular door to open, it can happen fast! I do believe that when we decide, on a deep level, that we want something the universe or God or some higher power conspires to help us achieve it. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. One more comment. Once I got pregnant with Mr. D, I told Miss O. Another family from her pre-school class was pregnant too and she asked if her brother was going to come at the same time. I told her he wouldn’t arrive until later in the year.

        When their baby came, she said, “Oh, they got their baby faster.” Which made me laugh. However long it takes to get pregnant, we all still have to wait those long 9 months (more or less). 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Congratulations Erin! I say that simple for the weights that have been lifted from your shoulders, and I mean everyones- your parents included. Sometimes, as a parent here who has been knocked over backwards by a child’s query or action I can attest that if we’re giving a little time we usually realize acceptance is the correct path!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Deb! I can only imagine how challenging it must be to have a child “go against how they were raised” or otherwise do something that could be viewed as disappointing. I think you’re spot-on that the best approach is often acceptance and trusting that whomever you’re interacting with–whether a child, parent, or friend–has thought it through and has their reasons. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is a heartwarming story, Erin. Congrats to you and your bf!

    Love is love whether you have a certificate and ring or not. And you two are wise to recognize that and I am glad that your parents’ perspective on this has changed as well.

    What a great story and the timing of it all is just priceless.

    Liked by 1 person

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