The Heart You Didn’t Know You Had

Baseball is wonderful. People are wonderful. Baseball and people together with conversation, are wonderful! (The Twins are not wonderful right now, but I’m no fair-weather fan. Go Twins Go, through highs and lows!)

I had the opportunity to invite a stranger to a baseball game. His name is Justin. He’s my age. He’s driven. He laughs at my bad jokes. I think we’d call it friendship now.

During the 9-2 onslaught the Twins suffered this last week, Justin and I talked a little about kids. I’m a full-time dad. I get to stay home with my kids while Robyn goes to work. That’s a struggle for me sometimes. Sometimes I feel like my job doesn’t matter, or that my role is not important. I don’t blame anyone for this feeling. It is what it is. I grew up in a traditional male working, female child raising roled home. My parents were great. It wasn’t misogynistic. My parents complemented each other’s role, as people should in a marriage.

During our talk I shared with Justin what it feels like to have a kid. See, kids aren’t suppose to fix relationships. A broken marriage won’t be mended by birthing a human. Baby’s born in a broken marriage aren’t bad, but they aren’t the solution. Marriage is a 100/100 proposition, not 50/50. Wedding vows are the exchange of all of us, not half of us.

To be clear, no one sustains marriage at 100/100. We all slack, we all lack. We all miss the mark. What’s great about marriage is that when I lack she carries me, and when she is low I can pick up her slack. yet when two people are at super low levels of love for one another, the birth of a child will not be the cure to marital cancer. Counseling, talking, listening, processing, making life and habit change and a singular focus on restoring the relationship will restore the broken pieces of a marriage. Not a baby.

Babies will not fill the void in your heart.

Babies will awaken parts of your heart you didn’t know existed. It was always there, you just didn’t know you had it in you.

Working out is a mixed bag for me. Getting to the gym is like pins and needles. No fun. After the lifting and running and grunting begins, I embrace it’s importance in my life.

The first time I can remember doing a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout I realized that there were muscles in areas that hurt. Areas that I didn’t know I had, and areas that I didn’t know could hurt. See what happens when one works out is that the muscle fibers stretch. In a sense, they tear, and after the workout proteins help mend the muscle back to shape but with more strength than before.

The first time I set eyes on both of my children I realized that there were places in my heart I didn’t know existed. A new feeling, a new opportunity to love and be loved, to hurt and be hurt, awakened. I hadn’t been missing this part of me, I just found what was already there.

I think there’s something to us, as humans, that desires to “fill the void.” Culture creates holes in us that aren’t really there. This attitude that you need a better job, or more stuff, or a spouse or kids or a house AND THEN YOU’LL BE HAPPY! It’s a lie. It’s chasing the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

I have what I need. You probably do too.

Contentment. I think that arriving at a place of contentment can awaken a new part of you as well. Awaken us to gratefulness for what we have. Awaken us to gratefulness for where we live. Awaken us to joy and peace and an awareness that this beautiful blue ball of life swirling through the cosmos is special, and we have a special role in this place and time.

I don’t know how to arrive at contentment. Some days I have it, others I don’t. Some days I’m so thrilled to be a stay-at-home dad. Some days I want to curse at every single dirty diaper. What I have found is that things and people can’t fill a hole in my heart, because there isn’t a hole. My heart just needs a reminder that it has muscles to be content.


p.s. This blog entry is a bit haphazard. I think I needed to write. Take it or leave it, nothing in here is an indictment on you or anyone else. Oh, and I’m not going to proof read it. 😉 Love you, Robyn.

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