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Photo: Pixabay

This post from Hector Quintanilla originally appeared on Quora as an answer to the question “Why do people want to have children?

I got the most unexpected phone call from my wife, “We need to talk about something very important.”

I was sitting at a Starbucks enjoying a good book and coffee. My wife and 3 kids were out of town visiting family… just imagine the freedom… I was home alone, 100% peace and quiet. It was the perfect day…

I could sense something wrong in her voice, “are you okay?” I asked.

“No, I’m not okay”, she said crying.

“What’s wrong?”

“I need to talk to you.” she repeated.

“Tell me, what’s wrong?” Trying to get her talking.

There was no response…

“Can I help you?” I insisted.

“I can’t do this over the phone,” she said.

By now I was getting worried. “Let’s have a Skype video call” she proposed.

“Are you near your computer?” She asked.

“Yes, let me get ready”. I got my computer out, logged in and connected the call.

There she was. Crying. Speechless.

Now I was worried…

“Tell me, what’s wrong?”, I asked.

She immediately took a small white stick and showed it on the camera.

Okay, what’s that?” I asked. “Its a positive pregnancy test”, she said.

“Oh, cool! Which of your sisters is pregnant?” I asked.

“I’m pregnant!” showing me again the pregnancy test through the skype video call.

“No, you’re not”, I said. “That’s not possible!”

“Yes honey… I’m pregnant with our 4th kid” she exclaimed.

By now, I was cold; fear took over my mind. What was the perfect day, in a matter of minutes turned into a nightmare!

A storm of questions rushed through my mind, “But… How could this happen? 4 kids? This is crazy! My oldest son is 12, my youngest is 6! We can’t start all over again!”

By now we were both crying. We couldn’t understand what was happening. This was completely unexpected. We simply never saw this coming!

Her belly started to grow…

A huge storm of questions rushed though our minds, “How can we ever handle 4 kids? How are we going to manage the financial stress? We need to buy all the baby stuff all over again. We gave everything away a few years back when we were supposed to be done with babies!

Why is this happening?”

Then I started complaining to God… “This is crazy; why are you doing this to us? What have I done wrong? We don’t deserve this punishment! Why God? Why? I can’t handle so much pressure! Can’t you give us a break?”

9 agonizing months went by. Nonstop complaining. Tons of fear and hundreds of unanswered questions.

Finally the day came…

“Push, push!” The doctor helped my wife. “One more time!”

There he was… Time stopped.

A perfect, beautiful, healthy baby boy. He was crying. My wife hold him close and he calmed down.

I was in shock. Emotions were all over the place. I simply didn’t know what to expect. I was too afraid to face this new challenge in my life….

This is how the best days of my life started… Ironically what makes me smile everyday is my little “nightmare”. For the past 3 years, every single day, he’s the source of my smiles.

I honestly don’t have the required writing abilities to describe such joy this little guy has brought to our home. Total transformation from a boring and stressful life to endless spontaneous sparks of joy and happiness. This has happened not only to me, but also my wife and three older kids. Everyone has been completely transformed by such contagious energy our little ‘surprise’ has brought to us.

What I thought was a disaster turned out to be the biggest unexpected blessing. God had good plans. I now believe He knows how to make me happy.

As I grow old, I notice that my life gets busy. Stress and responsibilities are overwhelming. I become more and more selfish. I want to be in my comfort zone. I don’t notice but I’m slowly starting to die inside. The joy of life is not the same.

Even in the middle of my most difficult parenting days, I won’t exchange my kids for my comfort zone.

That’s why I believe that having kids is a privilege.

This is a life principle: It’s in giving that we receive.

If you want friends, you’ve got first to be a friend. If you want love, you’ve first got to give love. If you want to have life, you’ve first got to give life.