When I arrive home, I park in the garage, come into the house and then ascend the long stairway from the basement to the ground floor. Most days as I'm coming up the stairs, the door is thrown open and one or both children rush to greet me. It's a nice way to be greeted. A few weeks ago, I was immediately struck with the thought "There should be three."
If you asked me at the time what our plans were, I would have told you "We're not sure."
A few weeks before that, it would have been pretty straightforward: "We decided about a month ago that if we're expecting within the next eleven months, then we'll welcome another family member (or more if that's how it goes)."
But after we made that decision, and after a short period of time where we thought we might be expecting, things changed.
Lori grew up in a family with three children and I grew up in a family of two. We looked at a family we admired in Southern California who had four children (now our age) and how three of them were now married with 1-3 children each as well. Their family was four generations of really close family, the original family and the family they had inherited when their children married. We were looking at that and saying "That's where we'd like to go." We were thinking that a larger family would help us build that kind of legacy ourselves. Not for ourselves, but to create that kind of really, really tight family. (We're not as close with our parents or siblings as we'd like, not for a lack of trying on our part, or in some cases distance, and in others, some history that has made it difficult.)
We thought three wasn't beyond what we could handle. But as we began to weigh the pros and cons (always a dangerous thing) it just became more and more apparent that it wasn't the right thing to do. There was the sleepless nights again, Lori having to wrangle the three, some stuff we've been dealing with Rachel. As if that wasn't enough, now there's the stuff going on with Ben (we'll get to that in a post soon enough).
On the other side, we have friends just having their first baby and it would have been awesome to have children their age. But I guess this just means we're going to have our arms free to hold their babies.