I never wanted kids.
At least that’s what I thought. I was too busy writing and exploring this country, quitting jobs when I had enough cash, or even when I didn’t.
However, I never felt I was missing anything. It never weighed on me. Never was I concerned with perpetuating my name and certainly I had no desire to perpetuate the human race.
It seemed as if my spark was to flare up then burn out, and that would be that.
In my early forties I was still not married. Rebellious, I never cared for institutions and legal documents governing my life.
Through those years women pressured me to marry them, yet I resisted, knowing they weren’t right.
Some thought I was selfish. Nope, just stubborn.
But when life presented the right woman to love passionately, I knew in an instant that I would marry her. She also happened to have three children. This was certainly not what I expected, yet I jumped on in knowing it was right.
Some friends didn’t understand. Those same ones judged and condemned me that it would never work. A few others thought I’d stay a single free-spirit roaming the roads and earth alone.
In some ways, I didn’t fully understand it myself. But love and one’s path isn’t always something you lay out on a table with facts and reason. The truth is I had always sought answers to life’s pockets of emptiness.
I’ve heard people say- By thirty I want kids and a house. I’ve done it myself with other things, but life doesn’t care about our time-frames, demands, and equations.
Before meeting Jen, one week earlier, I’d left my apartment and was staying with a friend. I had no job and little money. A long month later we were living together and a part of me finally found peace.
This past fall, late October, I was outside with Adam (my twelve year-old step-son) and Jessica (my five year-old step-daughter) throwing a Nerf football. There was a small breeze then a booming gust. About a hundred feet up at the top of the oak tree leaves began blowing and gently spread across the sky. One by one they floated in an ethereal wave together like starlings, thousands of them floating and drifting with the wind then dropping.
I ran inside to get my camera. When I came back out the leaves laid prostrate on the lawn and driveway.
“I missed them.” Disappointed, I said to Adam, with camera in my hand.
“No, you didn’t.” he said. “You got to see them.”
The kids began chasing each other and I looked up at the tree now standing silently after releasing its children.
“Adam, catch.” I threw him a bomb at the far-end of the lawn.
He missed it as the Nerf bounced off Jessica’s head still chasing him unaware of the descending ball. She dove on top. Adam tried to get the ball from under her, but she got up and ran with it over to me.
“Here you go, daddy.” Yes, she now calls me daddy. I swear sweeter words were never uttered. She bent and picked up a leaf studying it, then handed me the leaf.
“Now you have one.” She smiled her big smile standing close to me. The temptation to chase Adam again was too great. She zoomed away and I stood there.
After roaming the earth like a nomad seeking answers, I’ve finally found a few. Years have past with my family and certain answers have been found. However, I still roam the earth, though less frequently, seeking other ones.