One baby. Two babies. Three, four?
It’s amazing how once you have one, people automatically assume you will have another (and possibly another). Perhaps in the distant future we will have a second, but as of now, we are perfectly content having one child. We love our family of three.
It took me awhile to get to this place, though. I grew up with a sister and so for months I had immense guilt about the fact that I was okay with having just one baby. I felt like I was depriving her from something, after-all, my sister was the greatest part of my childhood. Was I being selfish by only wanting to have one child? And then there was the, I just had a baby, why are you even thinking about whether to have a second or not, why can’t you just enjoy the first right now and be in the moment? Still, I asked countless friends about whether they were lonely or not during their childhoods. The conclusion was that regardless of whether one had siblings or not, some people were lonely, some people were not.
And then one day I started playing with Row’s doll and teddy bear. It amazes me how much she lights up when she watches them interact together. Her doll, Moon, and her teddy bear (well actually, it’s a sheep) talk to each other, hug and kiss, play hide and seek, jump up and down, fly, whistle…they can do everything, and she loves it. When I attack her with her sheep, she buries her head into it, giggling profusely.
This reminded me of something I had forgotten as a child: the magic of childhood. Specifically, the magic within toys.
My stuff animals were my best friends as a kid. I remember playing with my friends and my sister, but what I remember fondly, is every night, being tucked into bed next to my hundred plus collection of stuff animals (I’m not exaggerating this figure, I was obsessed with them). They all had names and lives and each had a unique quality. There was my tiger who always sat in an upright position and when pushed, would roar. There was the same style stuff animal, a monkey, who squealed. He was annoying. There was my Doodle Bear who I could draw on and change her outfit whenever I wanted. There was my teddy bear who was bigger than me and was great for watching movies with. There so many more, but those were my four (well, three, because the monkey was annoying). These little creatures brought me so much joy and combatted any loneliness I ever felt.
I can’t predict any of Row’s feelings. I know she has two very creative and introverted parents who are both emotional, passionate and don’t learn best in the typical school setting. I don’t know how similar Row will be to us, but with her genetic makeup, I’m going to guess she’s going to have of these similarities. I can already see some of them in her, too. What I do know, is that I can foster who she is, and then make an environment best suited for her needs. If loneliness strikes, which it will one day, we’re going to talk about it, we’re going to buy an insane amount of stuff animals (or whatever), we’re going to go to the park and hang out with some friends, but we’re also going to sit down and figure out how to turn our loneliness into something beautiful and imaginative and creative. Maybe with books or painting or building something. Or maybe by simply going on a walk. The fresh air cures so much.
I know, that I need to not worry as much, though. If we have more kids, them and Row may not even get along. Perhaps they’ll be best friends. If we don’t have any more kids, Row might be lonely some days, or she may absolutely love being the center of our world. Maybe her best friends will be our dogs. Or a new toy friend. Who knows. It’s not for me to worry about because right now, her world is magical and bright. It’s always exciting. It’s always in the very present moment. It’s a world without fear, without politics, without pain aside from the occasional tummy ache. There is no heartache, there is no financial stress, there’s no worry of anyone growing old. It’s just her big, exciting world view right now where not only are the possibilities endless, but absolutely anything is possible.
That is pretty amazing.