All Heart

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There is a canyon as deep as it is wide that separates the land of two children from the dizzying expanse of three or more. A family with one or two children is lovely and mostly manageable and can be contained at almost any table and within any vehicle. When you start adding more than that, words like lovely and manageable take on a different kind of meaning. In every conversation I’ve had with parents of larger families (and there have been many bc if I see you with three or more kids I’m talking to you, full stop) the third child is the tipping point. The game changer. Once you’re outnumbered, adding a few more players to their team matters little. You have a big family.

And that is where I have been for the entirety of the year thus far. Wandering around blindly within that divide. Trying to see my family  more clearly. Grappling with the question of whether we are a family or a BIG family. While my wife has been certain of her desire to live in the land of the big family I’ve not been so sure. This has been an interesting experience for us, this being on separate pages. We’ve been united in our feeling that we’ve got another one in us, however in a (for me) unsettling role switch, my wife has been able to leap right into “Let’s do it!” while I’ve been paralyzed in “But how?”. I’m not talking here of the mechanics of baby-making, but rather the daily concerns of maintaining some level of sanity (how much is enough really?) and fostering a sense of safety and well-being for everyone under our roof. Most of the time I just can’t see it. These are challenging goals in our current configuration as a foursome, so what could that possibly look like should we become five?

We don’t know. We have absolutely no idea.

Of course we don’t.

We didn’t know when we had Yogi and we still didn’t really know when we had the Monk. We’ve been entirely clueless about the whole thing because there IS no way to know. I can’t say that I approve of this particular law of the universe but that matters not at all. It is just true. This family business isn’t rational. It’s all heart.

I can wander around forever and I’m never going to figure it out, so I’ve decided to stop wandering. (See, there are certain decisions that can be made rationally!) I’m finally sitting down. Snuggling in right beside my wife who has been waiting here for me, knowing I would find my way eventually. We’re going to do it. As it happens, our family is a big one.

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13 thoughts on “All Heart

  1. It’s not at all for us, but I’m glad for people like you and your wife…that is, loving and thoughtful people, to populate the world with more of their offspring 🙂

  2. Happy snuggling…and congratulations! Lovely post…

    We have one and are deliriously happy and all of our friends have two, save one family. A few days after the third one arrived she was in tears at our house without her husband wondering how she was going to do it. He decided to take paternity leave and they were in heaven. 🙂 Over a year later that memory is very far away in all possible ways and she says, “now, I feel complete”. 🙂

  3. The land of five is crazy and exciting and totally worth it. Congrats on your bravery and healthy, happy wishes to you all.

  4. Woohoo! So exciting! I remember that the decision to start trying to have a kid ( and then the decision to start trying for a second) was less about being sure it was what we wanted than being sure we’d regret it if we didn’t do it. As you say, there’s not much that’s rational about these kinds of choices.

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