Like most parents, as I watch my kids grow older I sometimes get sad that I am not planning on having any more babies. I lament the fact that I will no longer have an infant who can fit into my favorite pair of baby booties. I grieve a little bit when I think about how in a short matter of time, I won’t have any children small enough to carry around in my arms. I sort of dread the day my kids no longer want to lie in bed with me and read books together out loud. These feelings are enough to make me question whether having two kids is enough, or if I should maybe reconsider my decision about having more.
I know that by “only” having two, I’m missing opportunities to snuggle. I’m missing out on giving more belly buttons raspberries and nibbling more tiny little toes. I’m missing out on more arms around my neck and legs around my waist, on secret handshakes and tender touches. I’m missing out on one, two, three, wheeeeeeeeeeeees, when my husband and I each grasp a little hand between us and lift up at the same time.
If I had more children, I’d enjoy more picnics at the park. I’d enjoy more cups of fake tea, sipped from fake china teacups, served from fake kitchens. I’d sing more ABCs and count more 1,2,3s. I’d spend more time looking at the moon and marveling at the trees. I’d literally stop and smell more roses. Children bring exhilaration and joy to the ordinary and mundane.
I know if I had more children I’d get to watch another person become themselves — that inspiring, wonderful, messy, ugly, beautiful process. Witnessing one kid grow up is the most amazing thing, and watching another is equally fascinating. Equal, but not identical. It doesn’t feel like going through events in duplicate because each child experiences the same developmental stages so differently.
Even with all of those truths, I’m happy to only have two.
I’m glad I only have two when one whines while the other screams. I’ve got plenty of kids when I do the laundry and the dishes and I clean the crumbs from the floor. Two is an abundance when one says, “I hate you” and the other screams, “Go away!” Two is enough during those times when I wonder if maybe this will be the day that I actually lose my mind.
I’m glad I have two because I’m able to find balance. I have the energy to be a wife and mom, and sometimes, also to just be me. I can sneak in a workout. I can have a hobby. I can afford a latte. I can breathe for a moment. Ommmmmm.
A friend of mine once told me that she thought the world was made for a family of four. I think she might be right. Our family can conveniently fit in any booth, or at any table, in a restaurant. We can all squeeze into any vehicle, even if a tad tightly. We can all share a hotel room with two queens and fit comfortably. I have two arms to hold my two girls, one on each hip. I’ve got two legs, so when my kids sit on my lap there are two built-in seats for their two little bottoms.
There are many reasons why more could be merrier, but for me, four seems to be a good fit.
This post was originally published at Kids Safety Network.
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