With so many friends who are expecting the topic of pregnancy and conception comes up quite a bit in conversation. Last week at dinner several friends were discussing having more children. Two of them have adopted and would love more children, one of them is currently trying and the other is trying to convince her husband about having another. They are all a little older than me and several of them aren't sure they want to have another baby because of their age, their schedules, or time. Because following this conversation I had a forty minute drive home with no kids in the car and no one to talk to on my cell phone I gave a lot of thought to family size and children in general.
I can honestly say, if money were no object, and unfortunately it is with each new child, I would have a soccer team of children. I love every bit of it. Sure I get grumpy, I have my bad days, I lose my patience, but that was the case before children and my life was not nearly this fulfilling. I love every bit of it.
I love being pregnant. Really and truly maybe more than anyone I have ever known I absolutely love being pregnant. Sure I had morning (really night) sickness and difficulty sleeping but there is nothing else like being pregnant. You treat yourself so well, others treat you so well. The early movements of the baby the first real proof besides a gray image on an ultrasound screen that there really is a life growing inside of you.
Then there is the birth. Hard and difficult but amazing. And the beautiful moment when you finally get to see and hold and meet your new baby. Those first few weeks are so terrible, not because you lose and never catch up on sleep but that the sleep deprivation robs your memory of that small pink skinned treasure, they grow so stinking fast, babies do. And then just when you think it couldn't get any better, they start to smile.
As they grow the days feel short yet sometimes too long. They are constantly on the go, you are constantly trying to catch up with them. And they start to crawl, and walk and talk. And you think that it is amazing, these mundane and ordinary skills, but truly it is amazing. You call friends and family, snap pictures, jot down 'baby rolled over' in the baby book.
And they transform slowly yet seemingly right before your eyes from infants to babies to toddlers. And there language grows and it's no longer just 'no' but 'no, mommy come here and help me'. The trials of parenting, difficult though they are, easily wiped from your memory at bedtime when they curl up to be read to and blow kisses at you standing at the door.
And it's all still so early and maybe there really is a bad time ahead and terrible tantrums and harsh words spoken but I'll keep my ignorance for now. I'm sticking with my claim, if money were no object I'd take a half dozen any day.
At the same time, now is the first time in eight years that I am not desperately seeking two pink lines on a pregnancy stick. I feel busy with the three I have, especially with them all so young, but I love having so many children and babies around us. They make the world seem so much brighter. I can't wait to meet and hold each of these new people. And where as I don't want to get pregnant any time soon, it's still there, the desire to have more children. Where many people would probably find three to be more than enough I find the words of Karen Carpenter echoing in my head, 'we've only just begun'.
I know it sounds hokey but I have wanted children my whole life, a whole flock of them. And then there was such a long time when I didn't know if we would ever have any of our own. But just as I never take running water for granted thanks to the year I lived in the house with the very shallow well, I will never take my role as parent for granted. Even if someday, I do indeed buy them a birthday cake from Kroger.