When Sarah and I started talking about babies the decision was easy. We were ready.
We didn’t have to wrestle with the idea. There was no back and forth. We weren’t waiting on anything to change or happen first. For us, when we started our family kids would come when it was time… and that time, it appears had come.
The ease of that decision, came relatively soon after another easy decision – to marry Sarah. So at this point in my life, I’ve made a few life decisions with a calm confidence that ought to be the envy of our world leaders. “Leave the decisions to me,” I thought to myself, “while the rest of the world is busy forming commissions to write pros and cons and draw decision trees, I’ll eat an ice cream sandwich and then make the best choice.”
….That was until recently.
The series of choices to be made prior to a baby’s arrival have humbled me into a childlike reliance on our Good Lord. I’ve now discovered that under no circumstance are any of these decisions to be taken lightly — and their weight sits firmly on my shoulders. Out of all the difficult decisions at my feet recently one has very clearly has brought me to my knees:
The color of the nursery.
Silly me. I thought light green and light blue meant our decision had been made. Nope. It turns out that there are lots of light greens and light blues. In fact, every paint company at every paint supply store offers every possible shade of every color of the rainbow… and they all have their own name. As a result, choosing a color or combination of colors more closely resembles playing a game of Clue than preschool finger painting. Mystery Solved. “Professor Plum” in the kitchen with “Rusty Candlestick”.
I’ve painted before. But never did the future of my child depend on it. It was as if each shade of green or blue would subliminally influence my child’s interests thereby setting the trajectory of his entire life. “Island Paradise” and “Soothing Memento” makes a third world missionary;
“Warm Shawl” and “Huggy Bear” he’ll be Supreme Court Justice; “Minty Fresh” and “Pacific Starfish” he’ll own two Subways, three Great Clips and a Holiday Inn.
The color issue was brought to my attention as I was winding down a rather productive day and thinking about bed. Sarah asked me if I would help her decide on the color. “Easy enough,” I thought “I can squeeze this chore into the end of my day.”
Once I agreed, Sarah immediately pulled a four inch stack of blue and green “swatches” out of her bag. I was reminded of how on a recent trip to visit some friends I was taken by their six month old daughter’s ability to sincerely laugh and cry at the same time. Now I empathized.
I shuffled through the stack and picked out the two I liked. “How about these two?” I asked, pulling out my favorites. Sarah took the green and blue color swatch from my hand and paused for a moment.
“Really?” she asked. The inflection in her voice implied that my choice was off… Way off… So far off in fact that we could measure the distance in light years. “too green. not enough blue.”
I pretended to understand. “Ok. Let me try again.”
I grabbed the stack of swatches and took a deep breath (The same breath you take right before an attempt at jumping the Grand Canyon). I shuffled through it once more. This time looking for a less “green” green and a more “blue” blue. I gave her two different pairs.
Sarah examined my offerings intently. Another pause.
“No. Those aren’t going to work,” she rejected. “Think more ‘versatility.’”
“‘Versatility’. Right.” I grabbed the stack again. It felt heavier this time.
The back and forth went on for awhile. Unable to pick the right card from the deck, I was living a street magician’s worst nightmare. “Is this your card? no? How about this one? no? this one?”
Ultimately deductive reasoning and determination persevered. When I pulled the last two blue and green from the stack Sarah said, “Oh good. Those are the ones liked from the beginning.”
When people ask us what color we painted the nursery I tell them “cable car with some sprig of mint.”