Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Checking It Twice

Dear Santa,

One of our teachers presented me with this challenge: Choose one item that is on your holiday wish list (or one item that is not on your list) and reflect on what this item's presence on (or absence from) your list reveals about where you are in your life right now.

I have an answer, but not a comfortable one.

I'm reminded of the time I sat in an important interview for a Rotary Club study abroad scholarship, and one of the questions asked was, "If you could be any animal, which would you be and why?" Inexplicably, "beaver" popped into my head.

Beaver? Really?

Like a character in a comic strip, I tried to push off that thought balloon, but it bobbed there stubbornly.

Beaver became my answer. And I got the scholarship.

Now here I am, trying to be careful what I wish for. Because what I really want this year, Santa, is a new baby.

On the Want/Need Continuum, this wish is as far on the Want end of the spectrum as possible. It's maybe even greedy. Not only do I not need a baby, there are plenty of reasons why I might expect you to put this desire in the "I Hear You, but...Try Again" category.

You know I am a lucky woman with two healthy children, a husband, and a home. Our daughters, six and three, are at pretty self-sufficient ages and with help from family and friends, we manage our busy two-working-parents household.

I come from a large brood and didn't think I would follow in my parents' footsteps and have five children. But I always imagined three. Two would be too few; four would be too many. I never pictured myself in the "2.1 kids" column.

But who am I kidding? Not you, Mr. Claus, who knows when our daughters are naughty and nice. Much of the time, two is more than enough for us. We've got man-on-man defense down, but we're still outwitted at times.

Nevertheless, after some years of overwhelm, we're in a good groove.

So it's hard to explain why I want to upset our tidy apple cart. I just want a baby. I do. I want to not want a baby, but, I don't.

It's not that I'm hoping for a boy, Santa. And I'm not dying to be pregnant again. I'm willing to explore a variety of Stork Options.

Truth is, I think I want a baby so it won't all be over. You know, childhood. Our house currently has no crib and no diapers and no highchair. Our youngest is careening toward kindergarten. Soon, it seems, I'll be the mother of older kids, cooing at and longing to hold the babies of my younger parent peers. I see it already: both daughters will be in high school together and then a few years later, both graduated and gone.

I can't help wanting one more toddler, one more learning-to-talker, one more footy-pajamaed snuggler. I want the soccer games and school shows and chaotic family dinners to span more years than the three between our two. I want another one at home to keep us young.

Ultimately, Santa, maybe that's what I'm really after: my youth. A sense that I am not marching too quickly through life's stages. Career? Check. Enough Time for Myself? Check. Family? I want more of that.

I know what you're thinking, Santa. If I get what I want, my stocking will be full of Sleepless Nights, Diaper Changes, Crying, Drooling, Spit-Up, and more Laundry and Whining.

I'll admit I have to wonder if we have room in our house for another inhabitant and enough money in the bank for daycare and college. Love in our hearts, though, we have to spare.

Santa, over the years I've come to expect your wisdom applied to my wishes. So, whether or not 2010 brings me a bundle of joy or a carton of contentment, I figure something good is coming my way.

Your Friend,



chris said...

whew... oh boy, what a bomb shell! Now everyone is going to ask you about having a baby all the time. I think you and Jon should pull a Brangelina!

Is this all over the believing in santa thing?

Jared and Kate said...

Mom says to tell you I am bringing a wee bundle your way just in time for Christmas. You can borrow my newborn for a night. It will cure you. :-)

Mama Deb said...

Aww, this was a sweet and honest post.
We should discuss this more off blog, but after my adamant 'hell-nos' to the other half's wishes for a third baby, I have been engrossed in researching adopting an older child internationally. Who knows if it will actually happen, but for us, I think it would be amazing. It's funny how many people I know right now who were content with two and are now really wanting a third. There is definitely room in your heart...that is for sure :)

me said...