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.
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.