Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Are We There Yet?

"Are we there yet?"

Every year, my family would travel from Florida to California. My parents had gotten so good at it, we could make it in three days. We would stop only for fuel - food, bathrooms and any other necessary items were required to be handled during these stops. We were on a mission.

The trip always began in a rush of excitement, once the tears from leaving family had abated. We were on an adventure! Just the thought of a road trip was exciting and fun, regardless of our final destination. I would hold my arm out the window, fighting the wind as my hand bobbed up and down the invisible air "waves". My sister and I would see who could find all the letters of the alphabet in various signs or license plates. We would play Slug Bug. And fight.

After laying down in the back window, watching every driver who passed, we would eventually ask, "Are we there yet?" The thrill of the trip had turned to boredom, and the desire to move on to the next stage and start another adventure was just too much.

So here I am again, on a different kind of adventure. Parenthood. And it has me wondering... "Are we there yet?"

We have two beautiful children. "One of each" as people are so fond of pointing out. Two healthy, happy children who are a blessing to us. The best part? We're not outnumbered. Yet.

My husband and I talked about kids on our second date. There was never a question of if we wanted a family. Our only question was "How many?". We both agreed that the world was made for couples, and Robert didn't want to have three kids because he didn't like being the "middle child". That left the option of having two or four - six was just asking for trouble. After we married, we told friends and family we wanted four, but always with the disclaimer that we would have the first two and then decide if we could handle more.

So here we are. We have two. Are we there yet?

I don't know quite what I expected. Did I think the second child would be born and announce: "I am the last of the clan!". Or would he sit up in his crib and say "Look mom, I just wanted you to know there's lots more room in there... feel free to have a couple more."

I guess I thought that when my second child was born, I would just "know". Well, I don't.

I have a lot of uncertainty about whether we should add to the brood. We're not spring chickens: Robert is in his forties, and I'm going to be thirty-five this month. Two more kids means we may be retired before our children leave the house! (They do leave the house, right?) There's also the SAHM thing - one income means every child takes a little more away from the vacation fund, the clothing fund, and all the "fun" stuff you want to do with your children. But children bring their own contributions to a family. They add to the enjoyment of vacations, family outings, and all the things that truly matter in life.

You can see how good I am at arguing both sides of the coin. Mark is only six months old, and there's still time to decide. Unfortunately, there are no neon signs to point the way, and no one can make the decision for us.

Two years from now, I hope to look back on this post with a twinkle in my eye, knowing what the outcome was, and happy with the decision that we made. Until then, I'll be watching Mark's every move, in case he has a message for me about whether there should be a sibling in the works and just hasn't shared because he can't talk yet...

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