The phones were going off all night like they sometimes do. I got a call from a "private" number and answered to hear a muffled, terrified, shy, and hardly audible boy that couldn't have been any older than 6.
Boy: Is there a ffmmmh tonight?
Me: Could you repeat that?
Boy: Is there a fffmmmame tonight?
Me: A what?
Boy: Is there a football game tonight?
Me: Oh, a football game. There isn't actually.
Boy: Why not?
Me: Well, football season starts at the beginning of September and ends in December so we only have football games then.
Me: We do have Basketball games going on now though.
Me: Um, well, let me look up the schedule.
Me: Hold on, it's loading kind of slowly.
Boy: When is it?
Me: Oh, okay it looks like our next game is on Thursday at 7:00.
Boy: Oh, great. We'll be there. Bye.
And then I felt all these feels:
In this extremely simple exchange I felt more concern and adoration for the child on the other end than I feel for most of my peers that I've known for years. I wanted to see what he was doing, who he was with, and know whether or not he was safe. I wanted to know about his schooling and make sure that no one was bullying him. I wanted to know what he loved. I just cared.
I was at first baffled as to why a call like that got to me. I suppose his parents probably made him call the number on a ticket stub because he was complaining of boredom. In any case, the innocence, nervousness, purity, and earnestness in his voice was enough to give me all the feels. And now I sit here thinking about youth and innocence and trust and faith and all of those scriptures that teach us about it.
My director recently said "you have a natural instinct not to kill babies, and that's good because it keeps the species alive" (it totally makes sense in the context of the play) but to take that one step further, I believe that I have a divine and God-given desire to support, provide for, and love children. I COMPLETELY understand when people say that they "don't like" or "don't want" children. I don't think I'm going to win any awards for patience any time soon and that is largely in part of children I've dealt with. That frustration however is nothing when compared to the joy that is seeing a child genuinely laugh or make a discovery.
I guess that overall, this phone call reminded me that I'm 24 and single. Before you raise your eyebrows, know this: I AM PERFECTLY HAPPY BEING SINGLE. I actually love it. I actually have a very hard time imaging myself happy in a relationship, let alone a marriage. I'm not perfect, but I think I have sufficient respect for myself. I don't need anyone. I feel fulfilled, competent, and content alone and don't feel that I need anyone to "complete" me because I am fully-functional and whole on my own. On top of that, my biggest struggles, concerns, and frustrations are always due to other people. But I do know that I was born to be a father. I am complete on my own, but I will be better with a family. I don't know when that will happen, but it will. And tonight I was reminded that it's gonna be great.