18 December 2009

The Second Child Conversation: Redux

With R's mom in town the week before last, we took the opportunity to sneak away for a drinks and dessert at 3 Bar and Grill. It was a lovely setting: flickering candlelight, nary a toddler in site, gooey chocolate bread pudding with vanilla sauce. We held hands and talked about our five-year plan.

On my list: a four-day-a-week career as a web writer or manager, getting published, being fiscally responsible (the stuff that money gurus always tell you to do, but that you think is impossible -- six months living expenses, retirement accounts, etc.), a larger house in Arlington so we can all have our own study and room to have friends and family stay with us.

On R's list: a better paying job that uses his security clearance, various computer certifications, more time enjoying creative pursuits like photography. He even agreed that a bigger house was in the cards for us -- a major victory for me. For a long time, R seemed convinced that we could stay in our little  850 sq. ft. condo forever. "People in Manhattan do it!" Good for them. I didn't want to.

Then, I launched into that conversation (See: Does Only Mean Lonely??).

"So, I know that we've talked about this before," I began, "and you may not like what I have to say, but I have to bring it up. I'm still thinking about a second child."

R tried hard to maintain a neutral expression and let me continue.

"My reasons haven't changed, " I told him. "I just think about what I've been through in the past two years having to deal with my dad's estate and finding care for my mom. I don't want Zora to be lonely if anything happens to us."

R responded: "You realize that most of the five-year plan isn't doable if we have another child."

Daycare. A bigger house. Restricted traveling for a few years. College. Less sleep.

"Yes, but," and I faltered. Wanting another child wasn't necessarily rational.

The conversation sputtered. Finally, R asked that we change the subject, and I was left feeling slightly dissatisfied.


But the longer I let that impasse sit, I find myself coming around to R's perspective. I don't like to think that I'm giving in, but rather, that I'm reconciling our vision of what it means to be a family and what decisions we can make together to sustain us financially and emotionally. A second child would alter the goals I've set for myself and for our family. After lifetime of trying to meet other people's needs, I would like to meet my own. Even if it means Zora is an only child. And I think I am okay with that.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:36 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home