Is this (car) door closed?

April 21, 2010 at 1:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments
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10 weeks old

We are getting a new car. The lease on our Honda CR-V is up, and we have been planning to trade it in for the exact same car. It’s just big enough for a family of four and just small enough to park with ease. The fuel efficiency is good, I suppose, and we’ve never had to bring it in for service.

But now I want a Honda Pilot.

“It’s safer,” I said to Tim. To which he replied, “That’s ridiculous.”

“It has a DVD player!” I said.

“Not sure it’s worth the extra cost,” he said. “Plus, you love the CR-V.”

It’s true; that car is perfectly fine. The Pilot, however, has an extra row of seats in the back and is just that much bigger.

“That much bigger for what?” said Tim.

Another baby, of course. If we get a CR-V, we are closing the door on having another baby. Because where would it sit? I realize the absurdity of my rationale.

Now, I write this post with what I hope is a degree of levity, but I do so also very very aware that some of the people closest to me have not had an easy time having babies. Heartbreaking is too simple and cliched a word to describe what they have been through, to the extent that I could even presume to imagine. I have two beautiful children — a girl and a boy — and, having known the much more difficult paths of these dear people, I am even more aware of my children’s wondrous existence (if that is possible).

Though we are not sleeping so much (have you heard?), with every baby milestone that Little O accomplishes, I think: Is this the last time? The last time I see a baby of mine learn to smile? Or the last time I carefully put teeny newborn onesies on a squirming infant? Little Bug was sleeping through the night at six weeks, and at 11 weeks, we’re not even close with Little O. Perhaps I should be letting him cry a bit more in the night when he’s obviously not hungry. But I bring him into our bed (something I never, ever would have done with Little Bug) and let him nurse on and off all night, as we both drift in and out of sleep.  Every night, as much as the exhausted part of me wants it to be, might nevertheless be the last night I wake up with my infant.  So, after his last, early morning feeding, he stays nestled in my chest until his big sister comes leaping in with the sun. The other morning, Tim left very early, before dawn, and as he kissed the baby and me goodbye he said to me, “You’re in trouble!”

Agree to have another kid, I told Tim, and I’ll sleep train the baby tomorrow!

We bought a house with a guestroom and a small office, one of which might be sacrificed with a third child (but didn’t Tim and I share rooms with our siblings — for better or for worse — for nearly all if not all of our childhoods?). Children — their education and maintenance — are expensive. And Tim and I are on the older side of parenthood. Maybe not, anymore, societally, but certainly physically and emotionally. What about my career? While I have a couple of colleagues who have or are expecting their third babies, they are much more senior — partners or almost-partners. Can one be a very junior attorney with three small children?

I didn’t exactly love the physical realities of pregnancy, but I loved the anticipation. I have two siblings. Tim, of course, comes from a very large family. So I’m not quite sure I’m  ready to say, “This is it.”

Would I know it if I were? Will I know when I am?

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