This post also appeared on www.capecodonline.com/blogs in the opinion section of the Cape Cod Times, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc.
“So, when is little William going to become a brother?”
All you parents know that when you have a kid, people barely give you five seconds to breathe before they start asking the aforementioned question. First of all, asking that question is — by and large — really rude. And a little awkward too if you think about it. I mean seriously, what you’re really saying when you ask that question is “So, when are you going to have sex with your wife, let loose your seed and plant it in your wife’s uterus?” And frankly, that’s none of your business and you should be ashamed for asking.
But since the question is virtually unavoidable, you deal with it. Frankly, I had to really think about it. Granted, it’s on the the (way) back burner right now as I’m a little busy taking care of Will. But let’s face it, you do have to plan ahead and try to figure out if you’re going to have another child.
My first reaction was “No way!” Not because I don’t like kids, but because Will is perfect. He already sleeps through the night, he wasn’t colic, he’s healthy as a horse, he’s got a great disposition and he’s the cutest friggin baby I’ve ever seen in my life. So I feel like why try to top that? When you’ve been dealt a royal straight flush it’s a little arrogant to let it ride on the next hand and hope for the same. But just as I thought about packing up my sperm and going home, something else popped into my mind…
Every summer my family would go to our aunt’s Cape house on the Harwich/Brewster line. As we weren’t big fans of the beach or the heat, we’d stay inside and my brother and I would play hours and hours of ping pong down in the basement. And it was fun. Not just because I beat the hell out of him every time and lorded my victories over him, but because it made me remember that I really enjoyed having someone to play with.
Now don’t get me wrong, my brother and I didn’t always get along. For a few years we couldn’t breathe the same air and we kicked the crap out of each other. But even when we fought, it seemed to be forgotten almost instantaneously and we’d go play catch, video games…or ping pong. And it was fun. One of the best memories I have of my brother is when I was 16, shortly after I had gotten my license. I had a car — a 1985 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme — and the deal was I had to take my brother to school with me because I was a senior and he was a freshman. I thought I’d hate it, but I really didn’t mind. And then one day, I pulled over and I asked him if he wanted to drive, which of course he did. So he took the wheel while I verbally directed him and it was our little secret.
I want Will to have someone to play with all the time. Sure that means fighting occasionally but having a sibling is something I find just too important to pass up. And besides, only children tend to be spoiled because they are constantly doted upon. Not all of them, but I’m guessing the vast majority. And having a brother or a sister teaches you how to get along with others, to value family and prepares you for not getting what you want all the time.
After all, everyone should be able to share a secret or two from their parents.