Them: “When are you having another one?”
Me: “Oh, she keeps me busy enough!”
Lately, I get this question more often and that has been my go to back pocket response. I say it with my practiced smile and laugh. And it’s not a lie, Vienna keeps me on my toes these toddler years are not for the faint of heart.
But the truth is, I would love to have another. Another pregnancy, another newborn phase. Another year of firsts. A big sissy shirt for V, a sibling. I want that with Joe and so, it won’t happen.
I know I know, for those saying “maybe not now but someday” I get it but I don’t live for someday. I’m here right now and this is my reality.
Today, April 12, is National Only Child day and it got me thinking about my own life, about our daughter’s life. About the people around me and how their circumstances lead them to their right now, their reality. As a society, we often expect families to have multiple children. It's a common assumption that siblings are an inherent part of the ideal family structure. But what happens when you want more children, yet circumstances or personal choices lead you to have only one child?
Well, I think like many things in life, the reality of having one child and wanting more comes with a variety of emotions. Before we continue let me say this - I know how lucky I am to have been able to conceive and give birth to Vienna as we planned. I have watched friends and people from afar struggle for years with infertility, baby loss and scary births, incredibly devastating circumstances all out of their control. So, I promise, there is not a day that it is lost on me how fortunate I am. I am thankful for my only child.
The gratefulness does not negate the pang of longing every time I see a big sis or big bro t-shirt on little loves the same age as my daughter. Or watching the reels of older siblings meeting the family’s new baby. It doesn’t stop the tears that sneak out as I cuddle Vienna in her room at night. She makes herself small but I can’t stop her from growing. I won’t rock her brother or sister to sleep in this same chair. There won’t be a new picture of the four of us to add to the gallery wall. I’d be lying if I said bedtime with my only baby wasn’t bittersweet.
She made me mama and together, we have learned, and grown every step. We’ll continue to do that forever. Or, at least, for as long as she’ll let me.
So, here’s to the only ones
Who’s little hands lead us into
this chapter of parenthood
Who let us grow everyday
right along with them because
there was no one before them to learn from
and no one after to be better for
The ones who get all of us
the good, the exhausted
the bittersweet, the blissful
The ones who ask us to be
their forever playmate
a unique bond, the only one
Who’s laughter fills the spaces
the single greatest sound
The fiercely independent ones
the wild, imaginative
The ones we need more
than they will ever need us
we gave them life but really
they gave us ours
They’re not the first
not the last or
somewhere in between
They’re the only ones
our only ones