Every so often, it'll happen that someone asks how many children we have.
And whenever I proudly say "Four!" the thought always crosses my mind that we almost had five. And I'm sure it seems ridiculous to some that I still contemplate this considering my pregnancy didn't continue past the first trimester. But a year later, I do still think about it.
There's a saying that you can't lose something that you never had. But I did have a sign on a test and for several weeks, I had nausea and food aversions. I had a doctor's appointment lined up for when I was supposed to go have an ultrasound performed. But most of all, I had a dream of what that child would be like and how they would merge in to our family. And the truth is, that was lost when I lost the pregnancy.
And it hurt.
Aside from the health issues and sometimes overwhelming feelings of uncertainty, this has been a wonderfully fantastic year. We've visited with a large number of family and have made several good friendships with neighbors. We've traveled around the area and know all the best Farmer's Markets. Our children are healthy and happy and growing like weeds. Life is good and a large part of the reason I'm enjoying life so much is (undoubtedly) because our kids are at an awesome age where we can do things as a family. We've passed the "baby stage" with our children and honestly? From this vantage point, I don't know if I have the stamina to go back and do it all over, again.
Tomorrow is Charlie and my wedding anniversary.
(Mine and Charlie's?)
(Charlie's and I's?)
(I should probably learn proper grammar if I'm going to keep up with a public blog).
To celebrate the occasion, we took the children out to a restaurant for dinner. Now William, it seems, has been cursed with a TB or "tiny bladder" because whenever he consumes fluids, the child will use the restroom and within five minutes, he'll need to go again. So tonight when he asked to use the restroom for the fifth time in 60 minutes, I stood up to take him.
As we walked in to the restroom, I noticed that a positively stunning 50-something year old woman was walking in, with us. She was perfectly tanned and toned and was sporting a short white dress. William was in the midst of doing the, "I'M GOING TO SPRING A LEAK EVERYWHERE" dance when the lovely woman said with a smile to my son, "It looks like you've got to go!"
Now, I'm not sure what exactly provoked him to do this, but he replied, "I sure DO have to go! Really, really, really bad!" Then he added, "Hey! WANNA RACE?""
Maybe he thought she had said Yes! (and heck, maybe she did and I need to be fitted for a hearing aid) because he rushed in to a stall, closed the door and began the evacuation process. The woman, meanwhile, walked in to the stall next to him and within a few seconds, my son was shouting beneath the partition, "WOW, you really had to go, too! It sounds like a GARDEN HOSE over there!"
Please know that if I'd been IN the stall with my young son, I would have put both hands over his mouth and muffled all sound. But because I was OUTSIDE the stall, the rest is a little fuzzy because I might have passed out. When I came to, lovely woman in the white dress was washing her hands at the sink and William was conceding that she won, fair and square.
If things had turned out differently, our fifth child would now be eight months old. I imagine that they (he? she?) would have brown hair and blue eyes and all of us would be completely in love. I also imagine that our older children would be huge helpers and although two of the four still require help wiping their own bums, they'd excel at changing a diaper.
In my opinion, everything happens for a reason. I may not understand what the reasons are, but I'm comfortable with the knowledge that it simply wasn't meant to be for us to have a baby last December. And considering I'm 40 and Charlie is knocking on the door of 45, I have begun to develop a warm contentment with our family, JUST THE WAY IT IS. But I must admit, I also think about the infinite joy that our children bring to life and how much fun it would be to have another little one in the mix that randomly proposes peeing races to absolute strangers.
It's difficult to say whether our children keep us young, or are accelerating our free-fall in to senility.