i’m not sure when the newness of a baby shifts so that people around you are comfortable inquiring about other babies. or the next one. or a sibling.
sometimes it is small talk not meant at all to distress. often it is a follow-up question to an introduction with a stranger. many times it is offered as hopeful encouragement.
do you have others?
is he your only?
it’s just him?
at first i wanted to explain away why we don’t have others and it is just him as our only.
that defensiveness soon transitioned into a declaration of how very happy i was to finally have just him even if he would be our only.
and from the beginning he was happy. so very happy. and so interested in people and other children. especially older children. on sundays we sat in front of friends with seven (now eight) kids. asher luckily inherited six older brothers and one older sister who were very eager to pass him down the pew. i could feel how much he longed to be surrounded by other children. he was drawn to them. and that personality trait made me ache knowing he wouldn’t ever experience a big family like that.
when asher was very small i resolved i would not make him feel less for being the only. i braced myself against an unknown future and prepared myself mentally and emotionally as if one little whopper were it for us.
i wanted to make sure i enjoyed all the little things. all his firsts, that could be my lasts.
we were anxious to see if more siblings were in store after only a few months but there were complications with my recovery and i was disheartened to essentially have to wait another year. and then january arrived. and with it the discovery that 10 people who had babies asher’s age were all expecting. it was a dark month. i know another’s joy and happiness should not and does not diminish mine, but i let it. i faltered. i despaired.
and then i shook myself.
no matter what i feel i lack – it could never obscure what i have. and that feeling, that overwhelming feeling of gratitude makes me almost not even dare to ask for more.
but i hope.
this past week the two of us took a roadtrip filled with friends i hadn’t seen in so long. for two it had been many years. it was a perfect weekend with people i admire, and respect and appreciate.
at the ditto’s idyllic rockwellian home near manito park in spokane, i watched asher slip right in with the three youngest brothers. henry, the five year old, was protective of him. emmett, the three year old, found in him a play buddy. and four month old hyrum luckily wasn’t smothered each time asher tried to lay next to him. seeing him so happy to play with those boys i knew he would be just fine.
one isn’t a lonely number. one is possibilities.
one; three dog night