Despite my estimates of 1 million or 250,000 (give or take a few), I see only 4 of you are currently following me, and I’m pretty certain all 4 of you followed me from a while back, like sometime during the Watergate Hearings. (I maintain I knew nothing, btw. TOTAL NONSENSE. All of it just locker-room talk.)
How SAD! How PATHETIC! Save for The Good Book, does anybody read anything anymore anyway? Second to maybe writing, reading has got to be the ABSOLUTE HUGEST WASTE OF TIME.
Then there are The Writers. TOTAL LOSERS. They wear hipster glasses! They do hot yoga! They read BuzzFeed! They spend what little money they make—and folks, let me tell you it’s peanuts—on terrible liberal coffee drinks from Starbucks! They talk about semi-colon abuse and experimental expressivism (whatever that means)!
Yet 4 of you are still here. Remind me to repay you for your loyalty. I promise to put you up in one of my hotel janitor closets very, very soon. Complimentary tap water sourced all the way from Flint, Michigan. All-you-can-eat, day-old taco salad bowls. Really, please enjoy as many taco bowls as you can grab. Nobody’s judging here.
Last night I watched my daughter gallop-skip-run with glee across the indoor soccer field alongside the only other girl in her class. If only my daughter could superglue herself to the hip of this other little girl.
While shy at first, Ava often unfurls into a social butterfly. I admire her enthusiasm for socializing, as it takes me much longer to warm to people.
The young woman standing next to me is the mother of Ava’s newfound bestie. It’s the fourth or fifth session of this particular soccer class and we’ve finally gotten around to chatting in earnest. As it turns out, her daughter and Ava have met before (a happy circumstance of living in a small town) at my niece’s high-school graduation party a couple of years back.
This woman tells me she had her daughter at 18, so it’s more than possible this woman could be my own daughter. Our age gap is that significant, and we both have 5-year-olds. Like my daughter, she seems at ease with making a new friend, or at least making an acquaintance of another soccer mom in waiting. I envy her for her ease with people, too.
Have I mentioned this woman is pretty? I know that sounds vague and superficial, and what she looks like shouldn’t matter, so I’ll skip all the Harlequin-izing of her smile, her skin and her hair, but I admit it: her appearance helped me open up with much less stress and effort.
In the course of our conversation she told me she could be very impatient; she loved and played soccer in high school and hoped her daughter would one day do the same; she recently opened a salon; her partner wasn’t her daughter’s father, but had basically raised her; she’d been adopted herself; she had three sisters and one brother; and she didn't think she ever wanted another child.
Ever, I thought, resisting the urge to blurt, “But you’re only 23 (maybe 24 at most)! You might change your mind.”
And she might. Or she might not, and for that, I liked her even more.
Twenty-four is 20 (light) years from 44, and yet, we two mothers of 5-year-olds had something in common. I do not ever wish to have another child, from my uterus (mostly cloudy) or via adoption (mostly sunny, as the need is perpetually great).
One thing I’ve learned about motherhood: sometimes you have to slam the door on what other people think, family, friends and strangers alike. A mom will be judged whether she has one child or octuplets, whether she’s Kate Plus Eight or One and Done.
So who gives a— [about the Oxford Comma, which I’ll never need to describe my brood, because I only have one kid anyway]?
|Would you want another after this one?|
Although I already knew it, my lovely confidant from last night reaffirmed my decision was perfectly fine. In fact, it’s perfectly great. No more diapers. No more mind-numbing sleep deprivation. No more pureed food facials. No more feeding schedules. No more mysterious shirt stains dubbed postmodern broaches. No more backseat surprises of old sippy cups turned award-winning science projects.
No more worries. (Just kidding.)
Look, babies are amazing, and to all you moms and dads out there who have or aspire to have more than one, you’re also amazing. (And if you’re somebody who chooses to forgo having kids at all, I’m totally cool with you, too. You, my friends, are amazing. Don’t let anybody convince you otherwise.)
At 39, I was blessed with the single most amazing kid I believe I was meant to ever have. From the bottom of my heart, I want for nothing more.