Friday, February 22, 2013

family for four, please?

so this morning i was reading some family/children related blogs and stumbled upon a post about how to decide if your family is complete or not. the author was merely opening a discussion about her realization that she was not really sure whether her family of four, with two children 20-ish months apart, was truly complete and how or if others had advice to share. she stated that she was not feeling strongly that it was or was not, but was realizing the 'ticking clock' issue was weighing heavily on her if  she wanted to have a third child that would be able to pass age-appropriate initiation into her two children's already close inner circle. and it struck a heavy chord with me.

you see, we have been asked numerous times when we are having another. and it's not been out of our minds nor has it been off the table or gone without discussion. but i won't talk about e's feelings on the subject. i don't want to pin him to one opinion or the other. so i'll just talk about my thoughts on this topic:

c is now two years old. twenty-seven months, four days to be exact. and we are experiencing a whole new world of things with him. it's all happening so quickly. so, so quickly i can hardly catch my breath over it. and the more i watch him, the more i see his love for babies and his affections for his cousins and his friends, the more my heart aches to expand our family. part of it is purely hormonal. my biological clock is so loud lately i can barely hear myself think at times. but most of it is wanting him to have a confidant, a best friend, a sibling to share his life with. someone with whom to play games that only they know the rules to, someone to share secrets with, to break our rules with, to roll their eyes at when their parents are being nutty. to maybe grow up with and lean on when times get hard, and support each other when they are no longer children and life throws them curve balls. i want that so desperately for him i could come out of my skin over it.

my brother and i aren't all that tightly woven. i don't know if it's the almost 4 year age difference or not, but i would think it's mostly our personalities. we don't talk often, we see each other far less than we speak, and there's often little to say when we come together. but i wouldn't say we aren't close, i would just say we aren't overly absorbed in each other's stuff. i think that's okay, really, because it changes little about how we feel for each other. i still have his back when push comes to shove. i would still fight the face off any person who threatened a hair on his head. i would still be that 10-year-old big sister yelling at the bus driver for not doing his job and taking action about the kid with severe behavioral issues being allowed to abuse MYYYY BROTHER verbally and physically on bus rides to and from school. yes, i will always be that. and i will always want to be involved in his life and help him with whatever he may need. the bigger fact of having a brother, more-so having MY brother, is that growing up we did really spend a lot of time together. sure, he irritated my ears off. sure, he pestered and teased me. sure, i threatened his life many, many times. but i'm the only one allowed to do that, as the rules of siblings and families go, right? you can talk smack about your family, but no one else had better dare. we played together every day, created games no one else knew. we imagined whole other worlds and built more forts than i can count. i taught him naughty secrets, like how to steal a cookie from the jar and hide in the bathroom eating it-- then pour a cup of water in the toilet like you were really peeing and flush it. yeah, i wasn't always a terrific influence. but i would like to think that the fact that i was 'straightedge' all through high school and years after, as well as an honor roll student, at least gave him something to look up to sometimes.

i want beaz to have a brother or sister of his own. and the truth is... i want it, like, yesterday. the older he gets, the more i worry about getting too far out of baby mode. we're already tired, right? i feel we should just get this stage of being tired over with so the children can be grown together and we're not having to readjust to sleepless nights, feedings, and diapers years down the road when beaz is older? it's all i can think about lately. i rationalize the pros: costs for a while wouldn't grow by too much-- we are already paying for diapers and will be potty training so one would be in, one out, i intend to breast feed again, i still have cloth diapers, have newborn and up clothing on loan right now but will be returned. not to mention bassinet, crib, so on and so forth. they would have each other to play with and c could teach all that he already knows. but i also rationalize the cons: daycare might be tough to swing when i do begin to build my career and return to working, but at least we would be a two family income by then.  we would be tired and i would be doing night feedings again along with raising a busy toddler. everything would smell like puke for a while. but

regardless of how i'm spinning it in my head, there still has not been a decision either way. i feel we will make a more concrete decision soon, though. we have a lot of changes coming up in the next year and we've talked of waiting until we settle into a new house, get job stuff settled, figure finances...thought all of this 'waiting until we're ready' thinking makes me worry that it's pushing things further and further away when, in reality, there's no real way to be 'ready' to be a parent to one, two, ten children. sometimes, we just have to roll with it and learn as we go because, as the author of that blog was unsure one way or the other,  i am sure do not feel our family is complete, yet.  maybe it's a mom thing, maybe it's a hormonal woman thing, but it doesn't change that i hope for someday our family of three to expand to a family of four.

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