Quite often, I recieve a question asking if I’d ever entertain the idea of having another baby. My first thought about that usually runs off into some land of, “Thinking of a baby isn’t a one avenue question!” and “I have two already!” and “The emotional and financial reality of multiple children, teens, and future-adults is just too much for me to think about.”
I understand why the question of this kind of desire is an ongoing one. Every so often, when late at night and feeling my body, I grow nostalgic about pregnancy and birth (I really loved my labor with Oak). And I think it is made worse by the reality that I could essentially, “do it all over again” with someone new. But there is a part of me that overwhelmingly enjoys (and enjoyed) River and Oak and my time with them. And as they get older, I realize how selfish I want and need to be with them and this time as they grow. I don’t think that pang of a new and possibly different experience ever goes away. I won’t kid myself. I think if anything, I have settled with the hands I’ve dealt myself. I am the orchestrator of this reality.
With that said, I also feel the need to shout from the rooftops how amazing it is to no longer have babies or toddlers. Babyhood is magical and a equally idealized state of parenthood. But nearly-nine and newly-five, is quite something. It is just as magical, but so very different. It is full of a different set of emotions, growth, conversations (the real stuff), personal (and family) time. I am so in love with River and Oak right now, as they are. As I am. Truly. I’m not sure how else to describe this particular stage, even with its difficulties. It is a stage that doesn’t feel on the cusp of something larger (though I can feel teenage years and puberty biting at my heels on occasion). There’s no tap, tap, waiting for a juicy and milky burp. It just is.
I am hesistant to write anything in stone. There have been one too many late night conversations with friends and acquaintances that have left me throwing the hammer on this subject and on my contentment. As if a walk on one road or the next means I am a lesser version of joy. Rather, right now, this is how I see my life. Just them, full of mornings of quiet play as I still lay-in, yogurt grabbed from the fridge on their own if they’ve grown hungry early, books devoured within minutes, deep conversations about things I have yet to map out and some I have, and magic. Just a big kid kind of magic. You just have to wait to get there.
Do you have big kids (or teenagers)? I’d love to get some more perspectives on this.
(photos taken a simple morning when River decided she would poor them both cereal and milk for breakfast.