Wednesday, March 26, 2008

my two greatest decisions

Today's shop ride was perfect. This was the first group ride of the season for me, and we rolled out nice and easy. The heart rate was up, but not too high, and there was just a hint of sweat starting to form in the customary areas on some of the climbing. The conversation was great as well, talked shop with the boys, and got home before the streetlights came on and just in time to sing to the little one before she dozed off.

This was a ride that almost didn't happen. The Rider Who Shall Not be Named was a bit spooked by an ominous forecast yesterday but it all turned out to be just fine. In fact, the overall ride was probably better in light of the uncertainty just yesterday afternoon. It seems that the best results come from decisions that involve some uncertainty and perhaps even require a bit of a leap of faith. Is this always the case?

Today's ride got me to consider this as more than a rhetorical question.

In my case, the answer is "yes."

The two best decisions I've made in my life have been my two biggest blind leaps of faith, and the rewards have been incredibly fulfilling.

Second best decision: August 2001
With Alison 5 months pregnant with our first child, we were both comfortable in our lifestyle and gainfully employed in full time jobs. We had bought two new cars, were in a new house, and enjoyed more dinners out than in. We had always wanted to have Ali stay home after the baby came, but the finances didn't seem to work out as we forcasted increasing expenses. We looked into a few day care centers and struggled to come to grips with what it would be like to let someone else spend 6-8 hours per day with our child, knowing that they may be the ones to watch out baby walk or talk or laugh for the first time.

We made the (financially) difficult decision to go to one income and have Ali home with Charlie. We never got the numbers to work, but figured that raising him the way we wanted was more important than anything we could buy with the extra cash.

Our two cars are now each 13 years old, it took 5 years to finish off our addition, and we're pretty frugal with our spending. But we have CJ's first wobbly steps on video tape. Ali called me crying the day he uttered "car" for the first time. And I will never forget the day I was lying with him on the couch, hoisted him up airplane style over my head, and said "weeeee!!!" He smiled back, and laughed his first laugh.

That was the best decision we'd made up to that point, but it wouldn't stay on top for long though.

Best decision ever: October 2003
With one kid running around that I was completely in love with, Ali started talking about a second. I was terrified. The numbers once again didn't work, but we had been down that road before. She wanted a girl, I was ready to stand pat with the one.

I consulted friends, family, the internet. I loved CJ with every bit of me, what would happen with this second one? I honestly thought that I may not like a second kid. How could anyone make me as happy as Charlie?

The decision to try for a second was the scariest one I ever made. I wasn't ready. I was hoping for infertility. I wanted to leave well enough alone, and I'm sure I used that language in discussing this with my wife. She had the full court press was on, and I acquiesced.

Now, we have Cory. Clearly my greatest decision ever.


gewilli said...

some things are done for reasons that trump others...

and the ones that sacrifice cash in favor of family are generally always worth it...

thanks for sharing!

part-timer said...

Thanks for the insight. Im sorta in the same boat concerning another child. Its scary.

TomN said...

Nice post Matt, I just sent it to my wife Gretchen. She had recently gone back to work for a few weeks since our baby girl was born in late January. It just didn't feel right despite having Gramma with her while we were working. Gretchen put in her 2 week notice yesterday. The finances will be a bit tight going forward but I'm really happy and relieved with the decison. Thanks for sharing.

G-ride said...

nice post. we made a similar decision when we were expecting our first. I quit my job to start my own company so that Sabine could quit her job and come work for me doing admin and we could have Noah with us. That lasted a year and a half and it was great to have him there every day.

Also interesting that I had the exact same mental process as we considered #2. I loved Noah so much, and he came out with all 10 fingers and toes, I was scared to death to roll the dice again. But then we did and thank goodness cause I love em both. Two boys though, and Sabine would really like a girl...never ends...