I think it was something like 15 hours after Will was born that my grandmother called and wanted to know when we planned on having another one. She was kidding. Kind of. Not really.
MJ and I always planned on having two kids. Ideally they’d be about three years apart because we never wanted to know the sheer joy and ease of having one potty-trained kid, only to have to go back to diapers with a newborn. Better to have six-plus years of diapers all in a row. So Will just turned 2 this month. If you’re bad at math, that means I have T-minus 3 months and counting to put the proverbial bun in the oven.
In a perfect world I’d do just that. MJ would be pregnant tomorrow. Then, in a few months, we’d sell our condo and move into a cute little single-family Cape with a fenced in yard for Haley. New baby would come home to an impeccably decorated nursery and all the white picket fenced goodness the American Dream has to offer.
But those aren’t the cards we’ve been dealt.
Simply put, we’re in rough shape. Very rough. To the point where some extremely large changes are probably coming. We don’t have the money to pay all of our current bills, so needless to say the added financial burden of another child seems more than slightly incomprehensible. So for the past few months we’ve been crunching numbers and having some really serious discussions about what we should do.
Last week I was dropping Will off at daycare and our provider was holding a 5-month-old baby named Maggie. Her phone rang and as she scrambled to answer it, and she asked me if I’d hold Maggie for her so she could take the call.
And that’s when everything became very, very clear.
As I held that beautiful little girl close to me, all the nostalgia came rushing back. Those huge blue eyes and the goofy, happy, one-toothed grin. I stared at her in amazement, tracing her fleshy miniature fingers and remembering the joy I felt when I did the same thing with Will. Speaking of Will, he loves babies. LOVES them. He’s so gentle and caring with little kids, and each time I ask him whether he wants a brother or a sister, he happily chirps “sister!” The kid was destined to be a big brother.
Then I thought of my own brother. Sure we couldn’t breathe the same air growing up, but eventually Nate became one of my best friends. And even though we fought all the time, we were also constant playmates and built in friends. We were each other’s measuring sticks for sports, school and everything else. And now I don’t know what I’d do without him. And there mere thought of Will growing up without someone to pal around with (or protect if it’s a girl), is too tragic to consider.
Look, if the question is can we afford to have another baby then the answer is no. We cannot. But you know what? We can’t afford not to either. Because more than anything, we both feel the most important thing is our family. And while Will is spectacular, our little unit is not yet complete. And we’ll do anything in our power to make sure that it is.
How will that work financially? I have no clue. Not a single fucking one. But I know it’ll work out because it has to. Because it’s what we’re going to do.
And I can’t believe I’m saying this, but after having that magical moment with Maggie, I guess a girl wouldn’t be so bad.
WHEN YOU’RE DONE HERE, CHECK OUT FATHERHOOD FRIDAY OVER AT DAD-BLOGS WHERE THE DADS ARE PROBABLY MUCH LESS OF A PUSSY THAN I AM TODAY!