No free ice cream here

I have been watching big love, an hbo series about a polygamist family. I have no desire to gain a sister wife, but somehow the show is making me come to grips with my residual yearning for a big family. My best friend in late elementary school came from a Mormon family. she had 3 brothers and sisters when we met, 4 and 5 by the time they moved away. I loved going to their house. Loved it.

Not Mrs. T was all hugs and kisses all the time. Even for me. I remember vividly one evening, when her daughter and I were in sleeping bags in her living room and I was sad because a certain boy didn’t like me, that she promised me one day some boy out there would appreciate my high cheek bones, and that it was ok, really, that I had gotten my period already.

I want my house to be the one all the kids want to come to, and to be the mom my child/ren and their friends can talk to. I loved the chaos of the Ts’ child-centered home.

Anyway. I will not have 6 children. I may not even ever have two living children. I suck for lamenting that already when here I am with my living child. I am incredibly lucky. But I am only human and I have been very sad sometimes these past few weeks about it. Not all the time, but enough that I need to vent.

It is spring and in this town that means there are pregnant women all over. I was standing on a corner the other day and realized that there were 6 other women in sight and all of them had visible pregnant bellies. My heart twisted, even though I was standing there with my son in his stroller. That is ridiculous.

Even if I had a uterus or a cervix that functioned well without assistance, or without a random lightning strike, I wouldn’t have had 6 children. So it’s not the large family issue. It’s the question of will I ever even have 2. That’s a question I don’t even need to think about right now, and I don’t all that often. But sometimes, sometimes already it is plaguing me.

6 responses to “No free ice cream here

  1. You will get no condemnation from me here. I have THREE living children, and I still look wistfully at families with four or more. And I feel guilty because I know I probably could have one more, but I don’t have it in me to go through all of that again. I just don’t.

    There is nothing wrong with yearning. Carrying the hope that you will have more children one day is not a betrayal of Samuel or even Natan. If anything, is just another indication of your tremendous love for them.

  2. My husband longed for a big family, I told him family was fine but two was max. And here we are. I remember looking at people WHILE I WAS PREGNANT and still scowling at them. I clearly have issues.

    Like you said, being a cool mom doesn’t necessarily mean oodles of kids. My favorite aunt has no children, but like your Mrs. T gave me a lot. I think there’s a knack that some people have for treating kids like people, not kids. Not necessarily grown-ups mind you, but taking the kid things seriously. I’m not sure I’m wired that way, but I appreciate it.

  3. There is definitely nothing wrong with yearning, or dreaming. Here I am ready to pop with my third, and all I can think of is, I want another one!! I’m honestly quite desperate to get pregnant with a fourth….which makes me crazy.

    But you still might get to have two, you never know. Enjoy Samuel’s babyhood for now, and maybe in a year or two, you will both be in a position to give him a brother or sister?

  4. Congratulations on all that writing progress!! Clapping all around.

    I want a big family, we talked about 4 kids when we first got married. I can’t imagine doing 3 more tours of bedrest, though.

  5. As you know, I grew up in a huge (8 kids) blended family. While it had its advantages, there never was quite enough time, attention, and love to go ’round.

  6. Duh– no condemnation from here either. You know I was making calculations for two subsequent pregnancies from the very beginning. Even now, in the rare moments when I allow myself to imagine that this might end with a live baby, one of the first thoughts that follows is how much time do I get off in between? How much time can I afford, how much time is it ok to take?
    None of us will ever get to build a family we imagined– that part is already broken. But giving up on raising the number of children we hoped? That’s not something that comes easy, or that even comes. So if you don’t mind, would you let go of your inner and outer self-censor along with your overachiever? The two of them can go have a coffee together or something.

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