Approaching a young couple in the mall yesterday, I smiled. The woman was pushing a double stroller carrying a toddler and an assortment of baby baggage. The man was carrying an infant who was, apparently, not happy riding in the stroller. I smiled, not just because I usually smile at approaching people, but also because I know. I know how crazy in love the couple is with the toddler and the infant. I know how just plain crazy their lives seem at this time. I know they’re exhausted from the effort of caring for another person (or two) 24/7, yet I also know that care is one of the joys in their lives. I know that all too soon those two little ones will be out of the stroller. They’ll be running circles around the couple or, perhaps, riding bicycles in front of them. I know that their lives will still seem crazy and, yet, watching their children grow and develop will leave them in awe. I know that with a few extra breaths, the children will turn into adolescents and may no longer want to circle around their parents. They’ll walk separately in preparation for the time when their lives will become separate, though always, at the core, joined.
As I smiled at the young couple I wondered, Do they know why I smile? No. No, they can’t possibly know all that is in store for them, but I know.