Monday, September 10, 2007


I can remember the exact moment I decided I wanted to have a lot of kids.

Mr E. and I were in Ann Arbor because his little sister had just graduated from U of M and so his whole giant family was there as well and since it was graduation weekend in Ann Arbor there weren't any extra hotel rooms to be found and everyone was crammed into a tiny little hotel room. You couldn't hear yourself think. Mr. E has twenty six first cousins on one side. He is one of five kids. His mom is one of six kids. And EVERYONE turns out for these family events, you just wouldn't graduate in his family without your seven aunts and uncles coming to see it happen. And so there were cousins screaming and there were coolers full of leftover meatballs and thousands of bags of opened chips and people laughing and someone was doing someone else's eye makeup in the corner and my brother in law phoned in prank noise complaints from the hallway on his cell phone and I think someone (that may have been me) was dying her hair red in the bathroom and the tv was blaring and everyone was happy and laughing and it was just so much fun to be spending time with all these interesting, smart, beautiful people who loved me and loved Mr. E just because we were their family. I loved it. I loved this huge crazy family and the noise and the chaos and the free for all and I loved that they go to basketball games and graduations and all the things that no one ever really cared about in my life, and I realized in that moment that all this happened because Erik's grandmother had six kids and those kids had their own bajillions of kids and that I wanted the same thing. I wanted the chaos and the laughter and the love. I was done with the cold empty quiet afternoons of my childhood and I genuinely wish I had grown up with a sister close enough to me that I could share a best friend with her and whisper my secrets in her ear as we fell asleep. So Mr. E and I have always thought that if we had kids, we wanted a lot.

And then we had Eli and I started to wonder. I don't care, at all, what YOU do, but I am not a fan of only children, so I knew we'd have two, no matter what. But you have one and five starts to seem like, man, that's all you'd do. All you would do is be a mom. Is that what I want? And doesn't that mean that I'd have to have number two like, tomorrow? I don't know if I'm ready for that. I mean, I think I'm not ready for that, because when I think about being pregnant again, I feel like like throwing up. And this might sounds stupid and maybe this is my own best argument for having more kids but when I think about Eli not being the only one I feel sad for him. I feel like he's so amazing he deserves all of me, that he shouldn't have to share. Is that stupid? I think it's sort of sad that he'll never remember this time alone with me. He will only ever remember having had a brother or a sister. Mr. E doesn't remember life without his brother Greg. Funny.

And then there is the weight thing. Because I always like to bring things back to the most superficial issues I can think of as I enjoy clinging to those like a life raft in order to not have to deal with the big questions I would rather not think about. I wonder if having four or five children would be a fundamental life mistake in which I try to change the very nature of who I am (someone who should only have two children) and force myself to become someone I am not (fun, loud, crazy, sexy, cool, etc) but instead of really thinking about that nauseatingly difficult question I choose to tell you that when I think about working my ass off and really killing myself to lose the 25 pounds I lost before I got pregnant and that I gained when I got pregnant only to go and have to do it over and over and over again after being pregnant two or three mores times? Well, it seriously makes me angry. Angry! What a useless pointless way to feel! I'd rather feel sick or frustrated or annoyed or distressed or a creeping sense of unfairness and while I do feel all those things, and more, mostly I feel pissed off. I'm going to spend the rest of my life dieting off this fucking baby weight! So shouldn't it be easier? Sigh.

I could really go for a chocolate chip cookie right now. Or two. Or maybe four or five?


Chris H said...

Re: number of kids...I always wanted 4, so I had 4... then divorced and had 2 more with new hubby... then got 2 more from a daughter abandoning them at birth... so I ended up with 8... so don't go thinking.. "maybe I will have just 1 / 2 / 3 more... cos ya just never know! And you NEVER EVER run out of love for each and every one, and you love them all the same, Eli will not miss out on your love if and when you have more, he will just end up with more people in his life who love him! As he will love them.

bazu said...

Of course, only you can determine how many babies you will have. But your post made me realize- I do remember a time when it was just me and my mom. My brother wasn't born until I was almost 5. Those early memories are idyllic to me, but of course my poor brother never had that. Lots to think about there.
I always wished I had a sister. But even though I'm 28, I can't seem to decide to have a kid. The weight thing is a big part of it- there, I've said it. But also, the responsibility, the patience, all the things I just don't know if I have...

Sarah said...

I was just past three when my brother was born...I have only the haziest, vaguest memories of life pre-brother. And then, of course, my sister was born when I was almost seven and I certainly do remember what it was like pre-world-turning-upside-down-forever.

All I can say is, give Eli a chance to remember a time when it was just you and him. I wish my parents had waited just a little longer before they had my brother.

Also, if they had just postponed it one more year, we could have avoided being in high school at the same time (I was a senior, he was a freshman).