It’s true that I always wanted to have two children. I’m not sure why that is or how the notion of how many kids one wants to have comes into focus, but that is how I thought it’d be. It’s likely a matter of finances and since public school isn’t an option where we live, I must have felt somewhat constrained by the high cost of living in So CA.
During my struggle with infertility, I saw the family I hoped for with my mind’s eye. I held on to a feeling of contentment that I thought I’d have, mothering two children. I caught glimpses of what I thought our family life would be but they were so fleeting that when I blinked they were lost. It is very hard to hold onto that which hasn’t come to be for very long.
And now, I’m struck over and over, daily for sure, with an almost feeling of deja vu, only it’s not so much repeating something I may have lived before, but something I longed to live. When I acknowledge it happening, I call it a what it’s all about moment.
Because of my husband’s work schedule and the need for young children to eat early, we don’t always eat together but we try to (even if that means I feed the kids but we’re still hanging out at the table when my husband gets home and he eats while we catch up on the events of the day) and when we are all seated around our table, bantering about his day or our son’s day or what Baby G did, it’s a what it’s all about moment.
Or, when I’m making weekend breakfast, maybe scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast, and my older son and husband are setting the table while the baby is crawling around the kitchen floor, I’ll turn and see things as they are unfolding and think, this is what it’s all about.
Or, when I need a quick minute to wash dishes or fold laundry or take the trash out and I ask my older son if the baby can join him in his room for a bit (we have this little chair with a tray that contains him) and I overhear him singing to his brother or reading him a story or explaining the Lego he is building, that’s what it is all about.
Or, like last weekend, when we went to play mini-golf with some friends and they invited us over for dinner afterward, and we were following them back to their house and my older son was looking at their van ahead of us and said, “they’ve got a family of 4 just like us”, that is what it’s all about.
Or, like today, when the sales girl at the MAC counter at the new Bloomingdale’s was commenting on how adorable Baby G was and she asked if he was my first to which I replied no, I have an older son who’s in school, and she said, ‘you’re lucky’ and I think to myself she has NO idea how true that is, that’s what it is all about.
Or, as I’m planning Christmas gifts and I get to not only discuss with my older son what he might like and why, but I get to think of filling two stockings, buy Baby G some things from Santa, AND get to plan a first birthday party again. That’s what it is all about.
Or, when we’re in our backyard and I’m pushing a very contented baby in his swing and his big brother comes over wanting to push him and stops the swing long enough to plant a kiss on his baby brother’s forehead, that’s what it is all about.
Or, when we’re at the park and my older son is circling the path on his bike while my husband watches him and I am pushing Baby G in a bucket swing and there we are, all together at the park, that is what it is all about.
Or, it can be something as mundane as washing the boys clothes, which I do together in one load, and then folding them while they are still warm. There are two stacks of children’s cloths, the first of which I will put away in the baby’s room and the second of which I’ll put away in my older son’s room. Two children’s bedrooms each with their own things, that’s what it’s all about.
There is immense and deep-boned gratitude in my daily life as we live the embodiment of the dream of our family. I think about those I know IRL and URL who are struggling to have their first or build or complete their families in the face of an infertility diagnosis. That something that comes so easily to 90% of the trying to conceive population should be fraught with such difficulty for the rest of us is unfair to the nth degree. If you are in the trenches and you can stay the course, do so, for you, too, should have your what it’s all about moments.