I get it. I am a minority.
Especially in my generation.
I fell in love with my husband, realized he was going to aid me in being a better person, and…we married. We didn’t move in together. We didn’t date for years. The “furthest” we went were sweet kisses shared before saying good night. We walked down the aisle and, hand in hand, we stood before God and were married. Period.
And three weeks later, found out we were expecting. Honeymoon baby. She was born, and a few months later, we were pregnant again. We lost our sweet baby, but the following year, we were pregnant again. We have two daughters. We’ve been married three years.
I understand that others make very different decisions than us. I’m not going to take that on here. It’s not my place. I just know that my husband and I made the decisions that were right for us. And that’s all I have time to worry about–is us. I don’t make comments about those decisions others. Because they are leading their lives. They are responsible for their decisions. I’m responsible for mine.
“Just make her walk! Put her down and make her walk!” The doctor was indeed telling me to force my less-than-one year old to walk so my carpal tunnel would heal. “Once you are done holding her, it will heal.”
“I want more.” She stared at me, mouth open wide. Then pretended not to hear.
Another doctor last week: “You want more?! How does your husband feel about that?!”
Less than a week before my husband deployed two years ago, a woman was lecturing me in the pharmacy as I waited to pick up medicine for my sick daughter: “Oh! You don’t want more! I just got rid of my only child–she’s moved out. I’m so done! Time for me. Don’t get pregnant before your husband leaves…it’s just more stress. Just stick with one–you don’t want a big family. Trust me.”
Little did either of us know, but there was a tiny one already along for the ride.
I am constantly asked if I am done with the two girls, or if I am trying for a boy. Trying for a boy?! What in heaven’s name is wrong with my girls. They are so beautiful and such a treasure! So many in my age bracket are putting off having children for years, and I am sad at the immense joy they are avoiding. The decision is theirs, but children are so wonderful.
Why is it that people are so shocked that I want more than two children? A big family? Why is this so shocking? I keep thinking I’ll get to the point with my two that I’ll see why others stopped. I haven’t. I find my children addicting. So many kisses, hugs, funny comments. So many lessons to teach, days to fill. So much love to give.
Yes, there are days where I think I am going to rip my hair out. Where I feel victorious that we all made it through the day. But the days where I feel a joy grip my heart and manifests itself in a silent squeal because of my babies–those far outnumber the bad days. Sure, I have five minute showers, and some days don’t get make up on till the afternoon nap. Yeah, I do not have nearly the time for myself as I used to. Yes, life has dealt us blows and challenges I prayed I’d never face. But when I look into the china-like faces of my daughters, when they ask for more hugs to stall bedtime, when they tell me I look “purdy” when I feel quite the opposite–these are the moments I live for.
Yes, I choose to make different decisions regarding my family planning. I don’t put off tomorrow what can get done today, but it’s so worth it.
I sometimes have a hard time recalling the song to which my husband and I shared our first dance. But, it’s that last song, as the bubbles drifted around us from our guests, that comes back to me so quickly.
“I had a good life
Before you came
I had my friends and my freedom
I had my name
Still there was sorrow and emptiness
‘Til you made me glad
Oh, in this love I found strength I never knew I had”
Freedom. That’s it. Most define Freedom so differently than I. Freedom from responsibility, from people needing you, from constantly living for other people, free to take care of yourself. All the time. I smile–that’s not my freedom. I am free to love, to grow a family, add more hearts and souls and feet and hands to my family. Free to spend a Saturday morning in the bed with my darling children, while they crawl all over us as we rise from our coma-like state. Free to give more hugs and kisses, more laughs and joy.
I am free.
And from that freedom, I garner strength. To face those blows and challenges I never thought I’d have the courage to face.
“And this love
Is like nothing I have ever known
Take my hand, love
I’m taking you home….
Where we can be with the ones who really care
Home, where we can grow together
Keep you in my heart forever “
Yes, I want more children–a big family. What, really, is so wrong about that? Because, I have found that the more I “chain myself” with the responsibility of family, the more free I truly am.
Taking You Home, copyright Don Henley