Thursday, July 19, 2007



"Family Expansion"

When Groom and I met, started the love groove, and launched into the Plan Making phase of our relationship, we had the whole "So, uh, you want kids or what?" talk. Since I knew I wanted have kids, and since I was irretrievably snagged by this guy, I got to do a big, dramatic "WHEWWW" and wipe sweat off my brown when The Groom replied, "Yea, I do. Just not this year."

Since this talk took place on our second date, his statement was all good.

Four months later, I was pregnant (woops). Technically, however, we didn't greet our Girl during that first year together. Nay, she didn't emerge until a year plus three weeks.

During our initial kid talk, outside of setting a timeline of sorts, Groom also mentioned that he thought two kids would be a good number. On the other hand, I'd always thought three kids would be just about right (the fact that I'm a third child who sprinkled diamonds of sunlit joy onto my parents' lives had nothing to do with it, either. I just, um, like the number three). A truce was struck with the words: "How about we take it one kid at a time?" Everything was all, all, all so very good.

And then I got knocked up, popped out Girl, nursed a lot, took a bit longer to get pregnant with Niblet (had to stop the damn nursing of Girl--who knew Da Milkies would work as Contraception for This Particular Redhead?), and then...

Well, and then I was really, really tired. Two? I could dig it as the magic number.

Of course, I can't say that decision to stop expanding our family has gone unquestioned. Groom is completely set with our two. He's all logical and rational and thinks it's fine that we've essentially replaced ourselves, body count-wise. My gods, though, are Whimsy and Speculation--and they often, in the last few years, have sent me off to chase notions of babies unborn. I have often found myself caught in spirals of "what if" and "maybe we should just..."

But ultimately, over the deafening noise of my last few eggs shriveling up into sandstone fossils, I realized that I have only batted about the idea of a third child because I would want to know him/her as a 25-year-old. I'm not actually all that interested in the sleepless nights for three more years, in tripping over rattle-y keys on the floor, in putting in the sweat and tears required by everything leading up to Age 25.

Thus, we're done with the whole procreation thing, Groom and me. Realistically, two kids pretty much tap us out, in terms of time, money, and energy; plus, we got two good ones, and since every new kid is a wide open crapshoot, we're going to sit tight with these two and call it a day.

But still.

I do get the internal call sometimes. Sometimes I feel like I have space in my heart for another child...just not of my loins. And realistically, I'd need a child that could prosper from benign neglect.

Adoption seemed the answer.

So, last year--and most of you don't know this yet--Groom and I adopted a third.

We did the paperwork. We went through the homestudies.

And eventually, we adopted "The Keene Creek Section of the Superior Hiking Trail." I know it's a long moniker, but it's the only name the thing will answer to. For ease, you can just call it Baby. (that's BAY-BEE)

The good news is that our 3.2 mile long Baby only needs attention periodically, for help with cleaning up, fighting natural erosion (much as I do with my home micro-derm kit), and a little chainsaw work. And, honestly, hasn't every parent, at one point or another, wanted to take a chainsaw to his/her kid?

So a couple times a year, we shore up our little patch of trail, drop off a big blue stuffed bunny, and take the kids in for some bonding time with Baby. It's all been very low key.

Woefully, Baby had a little tantrum last week, during the big wind storm. Yup, Baby got a little messed up. So Mommy J and Daddy Groom had to march in the other day and straighten the li'l tyke out.



Groom removes a splinter from Baby's side.


Baby has brought some needed diversity to our family, as well, for she's an Urban girl, running through the heart of Duluth. Just being around her broadens our horizons beyond our usual Quiet Whitey World. Look what she's done with her blocks and fingerpaints:






Cootchie-Coo, Baby. You make Mama sooooo proud.

35 comments:

Fresh Hell said...

Wow! Look at you and your cracker family getting all ghetto! Word up, Sista!

Claire said...

Aw, what a cute baby!
You better take the permanent fix if you no want human baby #3. Yup, my sweet third was a whoopsie when her brothers were 10 and 7, cuz dear old hubby wouldn't get his junk rewired.
It's all good now.

Lhianon said...

I'm going to be in Duluth next month visiting my family... Nice to see the adition to yours.

yinyang said...

Is that Smurf graffiti? Seriously? Your baby needs to get off the crack.

Voyager said...

No wonder that kid had a tantrum, all it got was a blue bunny. It wants its own car now. I know the signs.
Godd work though. Worhty cause.
V.

susan said...

So your baby is a teen now???

Shari said...

Hey, you can tell your baby to take a hike. Better give the baby something else to play with besides the stuffed toy before she tears down more trees.

I was going to ask if you even knew what gender it was, but that came out towards the end of your post. Shucks.

chelle said...

What a beautiful baby!

We too are stopping at 2!

Ann(ie) said...

heeeheeeeeeee. What a cutie pie!!

You have a way with words Jaw C. Lin.

Dorky Dad said...

One day my wife's mom showed her a diaphragm and said, "see this? Your baby brother went right through this ..."

The Wife was 6.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Wow! That's even better than a puppy that pees on the carpet.

Hammer said...

hehe you had me going for a second.

Worthy cause. you have a lot more energy than I do :)

furiousBall said...

That question of the third short person is a good one. You know you might have the egg of Einstein in there or the egg of Jeremy Pivens...not that Mr. Pivens is a bad guy, but he sure does play smarmy really, really well. The world seems good with the smarmitude...ness.

Top cat said...

LMAO, you crack me up jocelyn. Thank God you have a creative outlet for your whackiness and we have the benefit of your writing.

Congrats on the new baby.
I always tell folks who are later on in their years when they wish they could have another baby to go get a puppy!
That will cure you real fast.lol
tc

Jazz said...

Well, congratulations on your bouncing baby... um... trail.

Jeannie said...

Good bit of redirection. When I was in the child bearing years, so many were "oops"ing that when asked, I'd say we were planning 2 and 1 surprise. So I got pregnant twice but had 3.

my4kids said...

Okay you had me trying to figure out if you were anouncing something on the way there for a moment. Thats cool though adopting a trail!

Balou said...

Well congratulations! You are a good secret keeper. The baby pastel branch clipper is on it's way. ;)

Diesel said...

Baby has talent. I think she's going to be really big some day.

velvet said...

I always wanted three kids because of my own personal experience, namely that I would have liked to have had more sibling options than my one older brother.

Of course, after having two I soooo don't want to go back and revisit the high-maintenance baby stage.

Congrats on the bouncy baby trail.

My Reflecting Pool said...

giggled my way through this post. Thanks, needed that! Adoption is a beautiful thing.

urban-urchin said...

you have a lovely baby.

I still occassionally get the pangs in my ovaries but then reality kicks me in the butt (or bites me on the arm in the case of the boy) and I realize that the husband getting the snippity snip was a very.good.thing.

Besides- when the kids are a bit older, we can adopt a needy trail somewhere.... :)

tracey said...

Joc, you just crack me up some days. Most days, actually. Congratulations on your adoption...not as cute as my new neices, but definitely fewer diapers, lol!

Me? I'll just continue adopting horses...

Dan said...

That is SO COOL hat you adopted that trail! Laura and I have contemplated this for some time as well. Perhaps you're inspired us! :)

lushgurl said...

Awww, how sweet for all of you! But I'm thinkin' it might be time to work on the real thing...after all, I'm done popppin' out chilluns so you and all my other married gurl friends ought to do it for me!!! Oh, and I have an available teenager for bavy sitting purposes!

jen said...

i know this angst, this bittersweet sort of deciding. and yet look at all this joy and love in your family, how much more sugary it makes it all.

Diesel said...

Hey Jocelyn, I've got a q for you. Send me an email at diesel -at- mattresspolice.com, wouldja?

Keshi said...

Cute blue bunny Jocelyn.

Baby bubzz a baloomaaa! :)
Keshi.

actonbell said...

Wonderful. Now, that's the type of adoption I might be able to handle.

Great post!

Naughty said...

Haha, totally had me going. Fab post.

Has made me yearn for kids of my own even more now! Like your first 2 that is........don't think I have the patience for the 3rd type.

MyUtopia said...

What a great post! My husband and I are looking to start a family soon.

CS said...

Good choice on the adoption - nice to have a baby that doesn't keep you up every night. Much as I love babies (and I really, really love babies), I'm good with just the two. Someone I am dating said recently "I guess I'll never have children at this point...unless you get pregnant!" I think my blanching may have said it all.

lime said...

i gotta say in having kids i think even numbers are the way to go....2 or 4...not 3 there's always an odd man out with 3... plus when i had #3 it occured to me that hubby and i were now outnumbered and i now had more children than hands...quite the revelation...that being said #3 is my sanity...


how interesting to see what baby is growing into!

Glamourpuss said...

I admire anyone who can raise children - teaching them was more than enough for me.

Puss

Angela said...

Mommy J ~ thanks so much for putting into words the pangs I've been feeling as my few remaining eggs shrivel into sandstones, as well. What *is* that feeling? Agh. It's awful. Looks like I need to go find me a relatively low-maintenance BAY-BEE, too. Anything's pretty much low maintenance after a real one, yes? Fabulously written. Thanks for the smiles today!