Tag Archives: Parenting

An Important Life

November 19, 2014

IMG_8909

We blinked and here we are again, entering the season of love and loss, joy and sorrow. The tender and bright life of The Holidays. Thanksgiving. Christmas. New Years. All those big, pink hams. It is so wonderful and terrible. Giant spectacles made up of tiny, meaningful things.

So we take deep breaths. Sip our ciders with resounding joy and delicate nerves. There is so much we are supposed to feel.

We pause to put on our winter skin.

+

We buried my grandfather on Sunday. His death was unexpected and hard. We grieved and cried and said goodbye to a good man who was a bright light in this world.

It is in these moments we realize we are not forever. That the life we are living now is the only life we are ever going to live.

It is always so startling.

I have been so many different versions of myself, it can be hard to keep track of who I am now. Am I living a life I would choose? Is there something I should change? Will I always eat cold leftovers in front of the open refrigerator door?

Whoever we choose to be, it is easy to feel insignificant. We live our lives through screens and filters, projections of ourselves molded by shaky vanity. Lined up side by side, our Instagrammed faces never look as good as the mirror.

Of course we try to stay honest, but it is hard not to curate a version of ourselves fit for Christmas parties and social media. As hard as we try to be real velveteen rabbits with messy floors and messier heads, we still sometimes slip into the lie that our lives are not exceptional unless they seem exceptional to everyone else.

+

A few weeks ago I took the kids by myself to vote. We were the youngest ones there by a hundred years. As we were leaving, a kind older lady grabbed my arm and said, “Look at these babies. These are the best years. You are living such an important life.”

May we remember this under the twinkle lights and beside the big parades. We have so much truth inside of us. Giant spectacles made up of tiny, meaningful things.

A season of hope.

***

IMG_9185David L. Baker
1936-2014

Let’s Talk About Vasectomies!

October 21, 2014

IMG_5553

Do you want to know what guys love talking about? Vasectomies. Cosmo may think it has something to do with lace underwear, but no. Guys definitely love talking about testicular surgery.

I want to tell you that Austin and I don’t talk about having a third baby every week, but that would be a lie because we talk about it every day. No one wants to talk about it, but out it comes in various forms having to do with things like vacations and private school and most importantly how will we ever have time.

Practically we know it doesn’t really matter. If we have zero or three more kids, we will be fine and happy and make it work. But when two firstborn children marry each other, it is very hard for everyone to just relax.

The conversation often centers around the desire to be more than parents. We find ourselves routinely frustrated over not being able to pursue hobbies because the kids are constantly asking for refills of orange juice. Austin loves babies, but worries the stage of diapers and tantrums will seem unending if we keep the ball rolling. I know how he feels. There are many moments every day when I stop and think, this is all I can sanely handle. This is absolutely it. 

On the other hand, children are heart growers, birth is beautiful, and what about all those instagrams of newborns in sleepsacks?

Pros and cons, pros and cons.

Our plan has always been to wait until Evie is three years old and make a decision from there, but it is hard to push it from my mind. I want to know for sure if these are my last infant years. Will I really only have two little faces in the rear view mirror? Should I be keeping my baby bathtub? What if my robot arm birth control is giving me a disease? IS MY WOMB EMPTY FOREVER.

I have talked about the last baby before. From the beginning I have treasured our daughter like she is the last time I’ll ever kiss a soft baby belly, and yet I can’t help but dream about a Braverman-like crowd at future holiday dinners. I love my kids so much, why wouldn’t I want more? Won’t Waylon and Eva want more siblings? What other kind of humans could we grow!

Of course there are many opinions. Last week I read an article on the top ten reasons why you definitely should have a third child. A few days later, I read another post on why you definitely should not. Both used the word “selfish” and both made it seem like I was only one round of Clomid away from the best or worst decision of my life. It was confusing.

It is human nature to be curious about the what-ifs. I will pray for peace and Xanax. Best case scenario is that I will become more enlightened, or at the very least, more relaxed. We have time. We have two mostly nice kids. Hormonal birth control (probably) won’t kill me. What will be will be.

In the meantime, keep making babies and let me know how it goes.

***