Is there any sound more precious than that of a child’s laugh? As I sit writing this, Prinny and her best friend are in her room, huddled under the covers laughing like…well, like five year old girls on a sugar high tend to do. They’ve spent the entire evening playing dress up, decorating cupcakes, cutting some poor innocent Barbie doll’s hair and running up and down the hallway laughing hysterically at some preschool age version of a knock knock joke. It is a beautiful thing and fills my heart with joy. As I check on the girls one last time before bed, Prinny tells me that she and her friend have decided to be sisters but “It’s just pretend, Mommy. OK?” Prinny is an only child and, if I have anything to say about it, she will be for a long time. All of her friends have siblings and during the last baby boom where everyone seemed to be pregnant, she asked for a little brother. I got her a puppy. Then after an afternoon play date with a friend with a new baby brother she came home and announced: “I do NOT want a baby anymore!” Whew, that was close. But, as an only child myself, I do wonder what it would be like for her to have a sibling. Someone for her to play with and go to magical worlds of make believe, someone she can whisper secrets to about fairies and princesses when she’s five and then secrets about boys and crushes when she’s sixteen. There is a part of me that longs to be able to give that to her but another part of me that is scared to death. I don’t even allow myself to think about having another baby because that just doesn’t seem anywhere near my realm of possibility right now. When it comes to the idea of having another child anytime soon…no thanks.
Everyone in the world seems to either be pregnant, trying to get pregnant or just finished being pregnant. I had a routine doctor visit last month and I swear, out of 20 women, I was the only person in the room not balancing a book on her belly. I held my breath just in case it was contagious. In the past few months I’ve been to more baby showers than I can count, listening to people “ooh” and “ahh” over tiny little onesies with yellow ducks dancing across the front while eating pink and blue petit fours in the shape of baby booties. And it’s adorable, it really is, but if I see one more picture of a stork holding a cigar or am asked to guess how many strips of toilet paper it will take to fit around a woman nine months pregnant, I swear I might lose my mind. Because at each and every one of these showers, someone inevitably pats my stomach and asks when I’m having my next one. It drives me insane. Why can’t one be enough?
I am blessed to have an amazing little girl. She is the love of my life and, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again a million times, I have no idea how I got lucky enough to be her mommy. There are nights where I’ll just sit on the edge of her bed, watching her chest rise up in down in rhythm as she sleeps, brushing the hair off her face and marveling at how beautiful she is. She’s perfect. And she’s all mine. I remember the day she was born; I had that moment every mother has where your breath catches in your chest at the sight of your new baby. They place this little bundle in your arms and, my goodness, your world stops. You’re holding this baby that just moments before was inside of you and all you can do is thank God for this perfect little miracle. You count fingers and toes, memorize the curve of their face, the color of their eyes. In an instant your world changes. Just writing these words brings me to tears and I am overcome with emotion at how my life has changed since the birth of my daughter. Prinny and I have this amazing relationship and admittedly, a five year old is my best friend. She’s full of life and personality and has this infectious laugh that makes my world light up. There is a special kind of relationship a single mother has with her children. There are times where you feel like it’s just the two of you (or three or four or five) against the world and all you have is each other. I wonder how our relationship would change if we added another child to our little dynamic duo. And right now, that’s not something I’m willing to find out.
To be honest, there is another element to this equation. I mentioned that I’m scared but in the interest of full disclosure…here we go. What if I got married again had another baby and we had the happy little family? The white picket fence and 2.5 kids with a cow shaped mail box in front? And what if I lose it? Again. I am scared to death at the thought of having more children with a man and then losing not only my husband in a divorce but my children as well. Prinny and I live together 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I miss her when she is at school for eight hours; I can’t imagine sending her off every other weekend. I truly admire the parents who only get their children half of the week, month or year. I can’t imagine having more children and then having to “time share” them. They say fear is great motivator but it’s also one heck of a crutch as well.
There is a picture on my nightstand of Prinny’s first day home from the hospital. She and I are snuggled in bed and I remember feeling that my heart would burst from the amount of love I had for this child. I loved the baby phase; that sweet baby smell, the tiny outfits, all of the little “firsts”, the way they grasp your finger and look at you with such intensity that you swear no woman has ever loved her child this much; it’s an amazing time. But what is even more amazing is seeing this innocent little baby turn into a toddler, preschooler, kindergartner, teenager and before you know it, an adult having a baby of their own. Who knows, maybe one day Prinny and I will be more than just Prinny and I. But in the meantime, as long as the sweet sound of her laughter fills my heart and our home, I’d say we’re doing pretty dang good, just us two.0