Yesterday I made myself a new bag. A small bag. A bag for only sunglasses, wallet and my phone. This bag is functional, but it’s also symbolic.
If you had asked me ten years ago how many kids I wanted, I would have teased with “dozens!” Heck, if you had asked me just after Isaac was born…in fact someone did! Someone asked me within hours of my delivering Isaac if I wanted more kids, and I said “YES!” Bring them on. We can surely fit more into our two bedroom apartment.
About six months later, I went through a period of uncertainty. Do I want more kids? And I didn’t wonder about it casually. I wondered about it ferociously. Do I? DO I?! Dave doesn’t…but do I? I thought about it all the time. Does it make me less of a mother to stop at two? Everyone says I need a girl…but do I really need a girl? I’m a girl. And that already seems to be a lot for this family to handle. Do we *need* another girl? I come from a family of three and both my siblings have families of three. Isn’t the three the magic number?
But then, around the time that I was bringing in Isaac for his Special Education evaluations, around the time that I was fighting for a good place for Andrew in school, it settled in me: two was enough. There was a little bit of “I’m not sure I could handle more”. There was also some “any other kids we have have a good chance of also being autistic.” And that’s a complicated one…because, as I’m sure you’ve caught onto by now, I’m not in place where I think autism is all bad. It’s not. It’s much more layered than that. But anyway…when I started settling into “two is enough”, the overwhelming feeling I had wasn’t fear of being overwhelmed, or fear of autism…it was just peace.
I am happy with two. I have two perfectly messy and delightfully noisy rascals. I’m full and it’s good. With months and months of agonizing over the question, one day, the answer came. And the answer was easy and quiet and lovely.
I love, love, love our family of four. I love that my boys have each other. I even sort of appreciate that they are both facing the same diagnosis together. Some days I do wish I was pregnant (I seem to be one of the rare women that LOVED pregnancy). But when I hold my friends’ babies, I squeeze them tight, smell their lovely baby scent and with total peace, pass them back to their mamas. I think to myself, that was nice.
I am really enjoying this stage. This both-kids-in-school stage. Kids that can feed themselves stage. Kids that are, ahem, *mostly* potty trained stage. And it’s not just about them. I am enjoying seeing myself as a mama to school aged kids. It’s opening new doors for me, which is pretty exciting.
So, as you can see, this bag has no room for diapers or sippy cups or a change of clothes. And it’s all making me feel a little footloose and fancy free. :)
Though…chances are, I’ll still have a hard time finding my keys.