07 November 2011

Things That Are True - A Debt of Gratitude

Yesterday we had dinner with HWSNBN's mom, my brother- and sister-in-law and their three kids, The Imp's "big cousins" who he absolutely adores. Without fail, when we visit, he doesn't want to leave. Last night, way past his bedtime, he was chanting, "Never, ever, never go home again!" when it was time to head for the car.

There was no special occasion, just another family dinner. We bring wine and a home-made dessert; last night's blueberry tarts being a particular favourite. My brother-in-law is a brilliant cook, my mother-in-law always loves a family party, and that house with those people in it is The Imp's personal version of heaven on earth. The kids, ranging in age from 7 - 16, are fantastic with him. It's always a chaotic, kids running everywhere, ten conversations going on at once kind of event.

My contribution to last night's feast

Last night as I looked around the joyfully cacophonous dinner table, I was a little sad that The Imp is one of one. There will be no more kids for us; a decision we made consciously before he was born. We love our lives as parents, but another child, no matter how wanted and loved, would introduce a slew of complications. There'd be obvious financial concerns, we'd have to move, we'd have less freedom, we couldn't travel as much... Assuming we could even get pregnant again, I'm not exactly of prime child-bearing age anymore. Keeping up with one three year old stretches me to my snapping point; I'm not sure how well I'd handle a newborn too.

We've had people tell us that our attitude is selfish, that we're doing The Imp a disservice by not giving him a sibling. (They're usually people who don't know what a struggle it was to conceive at all.) We've also had people who grew up as only children tell us it was the best thing ever and that they were glad they never had a brother or sister. There's no one right way to be a family, and this works for us.

But seeing The Imp enjoy his cousins so much tugs at my heart.

Then again, watching him in conversation with his Uncle Ron, laughing at Auntie Jane's funny faces, and running wild in the back yard with the big kids fills me with gladness. They don't just tolerate him, they love him. It's plain to see. If anything were to happen to HWSNBN and I, The Imp would eventually be okay.

There's a safe haven outside our home where he is truly loved.

No amount of home-made blueberry tarts can ever equal that.


  1. it's a funny thing that some people seem take only having one as an insult to the rest of the human race. we've had the selfish taunt thrown at us too; unbelievably, even after we'd just left the wee guy's hospital bedside after another ER admission.

  2. You made me cry a little. Just saying.

  3. I am glad we have our two, but you also have got a good thing happening. I love seeing all the cousins play together when we are home. Family is lovely to have near.

    I am also absurdly grateful for our friends. I think that we, who don't have a lot of family around, make our own family. Having Aidan, Quinlan the Imp and Little T running around together is like cousins that we have brought together. More proof that we are not alone.

  4. It drives me batty that anyone thinks they have any right to comment on someone else's family planning. We can't possibly know what is best for anyone but ourselves. You've obviously made the only right choice for your family, then one that works for your family. :) Congratulations, and those tarts look scrumptious!

  5. Same issue over here. Theo loves people. From his actions, I think it's fair to say, he'd happily move in downstairs with our neighbours who have 3 kids. But I also know that when he gets upstairs, he adjusts pretty fast, plays with his toys and runs around like a crazy man as if he's totally forgotten.