From the moment we announced that we were pregnant for River, the questions from family, friends, and complete strangers came flooding in: Is this it? Are you having any more children? Will you get pregnant again? Don't you think three is enough? How will you afford any more children? It became very apparent, very quickly, that the consensus believed that three is enough, more than enough. Maybe even too much. To their credit, these questions all came from a place of love and genuine concern for our family's well being. They came along with many congratulations and well wishes. But, they were insistent in their opinions that the modern American family is complete with two children. Anything else is just crazy town.
Shawn and I have always dreamed of having a family, preferably a big one. Is our definition of "big" different from other parents? Maybe. But I think every family has to create that definition for themselves. For us, the sacrifices of our time, finances, patience, and sanity are worth the joys that children bring. We measure the amount of children that we wish for not just considering the inconveniences of having small children but by envisioning the love we have for each other growing and growing as the years go by. We have the same worries as anyone else, considering college tuition and the cost of weddings and the millions of other expenses these little people bring with them. But, honestly, we know that we will work as hard as we have to and sacrifice where we need to in order to keep our family afloat. Our priorities in life are family, simplicity, and love. Finances will come together, they always have, because we are not afraid to make adjustments when they are needed.
In truth, we're not sure whether or not our family is complete yet. I feel extremely satisfied and grateful for the three beautiful children that we have been blessed with and if we don't have any more children, I will be eternally grateful for the three that we have. However, I don't have a feeling of absolute certainty that this is it for us, not yet anyway. I feel open to whatever fate lies before us, whether that means that our family is complete now or that we end up having more babies.
River has brought so much love and joy into our family and has helped to create a sense of balance in our home. We have all fallen in love with him and the serenity he has offered our hearts. If he is the last baby I ever grow, birth, carry, nurse: I will consider myself lucky to have been given such an angel. He is such a good baby in every way: he rarely cries, nurses like a champ, and sleeps pretty damn well by infant standards. Truthfully, I'm not sure if he's really all that perfect or if we've just relaxed and learned to deal with an infant with more ease. Either way, we count our lucky stars daily for being graced with such a precious little boy. He is everything we could have hoped for and more. And when people ask us if we're done, we just smile and shrug our shoulders. We don't know. We're just deliriously happy right now and living in the moment. And that's the only answer any of us needs.