posted on: Thursday, March 8, 2012
Sometimes, I wonder what's wrong with me. I look at my two perfect babies - more perfect than perfect they are! - and I wonder why they can't just be enough. My head tells me two is good. Two is more than good. I am so lucky to have what I have. My heart is already overflowing with love, and I feel pushed to the limit on time and energy already. So why is it I still want more? Why is it that when I look at my little family I still feel like someone is missing?
I told Josh yesterday that I'm fairly certain my brain is 80% babies, 20% everything else. I don't say that to be cute, and obviously my life is more than just a desire to be a baby making machine. But I'd be a liar if I told you I didn't wrestle with this conflict every single day. I try to focus on what I have and be happy with the here and now. But that tick tick tick is dulled by little. That yearning for more maternity - it's something I just can't shake. When I pack away the swing and bassinet, the thought that they might never be used again causes me to go weak at the knees and makes my head spin just a little. When I think that I might never feel the weight of a newborn sleeping on my chest again - well the lump in my throat is enough to choke on.
My parents had three. So, three just seems right to me. Three seems like the way it should be. What if they had just stopped after Abby? There would be no Ben. How would life have been different? Who would make us all laugh until we cried? How lonely it would seem without him. To not have had a brother, it's something I cannot even imagine. I wouldn't trade him for anything in the world. And yet...
They say money doesn't buy happiness, but it kind of does, right? Every month when I write out the checks for my student loan bills I'm reminded of this. My parents had us when they were practically babies themselves. They worked so hard for everything we had and we somehow managed to get by. But times were hard and there was a lot of struggle. I know they did the best they could and we turned out just fine. Better than fine in my opinion, actually...but...
There were no trips to Disney World or to the beach. There were no cars on our 16th birthdays, no airplane rides and no college savings set aside. Of course I'm glad they had us when they did or none of us would be who we are today. I wouldn't go back and change it even if I could. Still...those things would have been nice, and I want all of that and more for my own children. What parent wouldn't? I think about it every time I write a check for another one of my loans instead of buying Wes a new pair of shoes. I think about it when I watch Abby put off the haircut she's been needing for months because her student loan payment just went up again. I never want my children to have to bear the burden of this kind of debt. That responsibility will be on Josh and I, we have already promised each other that. We have their college funds set up and the savings is already in the thousands, but with each additional child it's that much harder to save and that much more we have to sacrifice every day. You only get one shot at childhood, and I want theirs to be magic.
So why can't my head and heart get on the same page? I know it will be infinitely easier to just stop now. But how do you know when it's time to really close the book on that chapter of your life? How do you really, really, really know?
And what about my Ben? I still want my Ben.
I don't feel done.