One of my dearest friends, a lost and found, a long-distance, a darling-heart has just revealed to me that she is with (2nd) child. I am as ecstatic as a far away faux auntie can be (Very, very ecstatic). And I'm placing early bets on another girl. I believe my exact words were "Ugh. She's going to be so damn cute."
So. My brain combines this news with a recent e-versation that I had with another old friend who is in the midst of making that 2nd child decision, and the fact that a very close friend is 'working on' her 2nd, and methinks to myself "Everyone loves babies. They love them so much that they want to have more and more of them. By extrapolation, do I then not love babies?" But I do love babies. Other people's babies. Friend's babies. I love them so much I want to eat them (in the most UN-creepy way).
Sometimes I struggle with my decision, OUR decision, to have only one child. Not because I'm uncertain, but because I sometimes feel that it makes me a monster in other women's eyes. In reality I know that other people probably don't have the time to assess my personal life. But in Shannon's reality, when I answer "No." to the standard question "Are you going to have another one?" all I hear is "Ohhh. Selfish bitch. Right, I get it." Followed by a huge eye roll and virtual write off. This insecurity is mine to bear and I shouldn't transfer it to every woman who asks "Why not?" I know this, I am an adult. An adult who knows without a shadow of doubt what she wants from her life.
In a way I envy these mothers of multiples, these givers of self, these women who know exactly what THEY want from their lives even though it's so completely opposite. They positively glow with pride over their broods. They're covered in breast milk and spit up with yesterday's eye makeup on and they couldn't be more beautiful. They love those babies. And I love those babies because those babies belong to the women I love most.