I never thought I would have children of my own, and I was fine with it.
When my girlfriend of 10 weeks told me she was pregnant, I was thrilled. It was not planned, but it was a set of cards I was more than willing to play. I was fine with having 1 child.
When my girlfriend, then fiancee, and soon to be wife, said she wanted to have a second child to go with the first, I obliged. I was fine with none, thrilled with 1, and willing to go to 2.
But that was where the line would be drawn. 2. No more. No less. A few months after Charlie came in happy, and healthy I went and got snipped.
But… since I am a man, and not totally responsible all the time, I skipped one of the steps in my vasectomy. I never did go back a few months after the operation to offer a sample to make sure the margin of error did not come back to haunt me.
This week Jen was more irritable than usual. “My period is coming,” she said. Well, it was supposed to come. Usually it will arrive around mid-month, but this was one was late. A few days later, Jen found herself out doing some shopping and surrounded by babies. Baby clothes. Babies in strollers. Everywhere she looked there were babies… babies.. BABIES!
We had just dismantled Charlie’s crib, we have given away all his sheets. Our strollers, bathtubs, and infant wear had all been handed down to my sister (due in May). We were free of our newborn gear, and ready to tackle the world of “big boys.”
But still, babies were everywhere. She started to sweat. You know how you “know”? She didn’t have that, but she did have wonderment and worry.
36 hours later, her worries were erased, her period came, and she confessed her stress to me.
Last night, at dinner, there was a fresh baby at the table across from us. The chubby cheeks just couldn’t stop staring and smiling at Jennifer. Normally she’s all excited to devour fresh babies wherever they are. This time, not so much.
I have a few friends who have been surprised 3-5 years after thinking “they were done.” In fact, it’s almost a family tradition as both my grandmother and aunt had some surprises join the family tree later in life.
I thought I would never have kids, and I give thanks every day that Zacharie chose Jen and I to be his parents. I’m thrilled we brought Chooch to the party. While a number 5 could have been squeezed in, and there’s more than enough love to go around, I don’t think I’ve ever seen my wife make a bigger sigh of relief.
She looked at the baby, looked at me and deadpanned “I am so not wanting to do that again.”