When I was a kid, on the list of things I would have happily gnawed off my own limbs for was a sibling. A whole MESS of siblings. Didn’t matter which brand–Japanese mushroom or cheeseburger–I just wanted more.
I had a pack of neighborhood kids that I chummed around with from sun-up until sun-down during the summer and after school most days (I don’t remember having as much homework as my kid gets) and that was all well and good, and I even was always pretty well liked in school. But I wanted a pack of siblings. A HUGE family.
My tiny nuclear family, well, most of them ignored me and I was a really lonely kid. I did have an older brother whose attention I vied for like an overzealous puppy, always shocked when he kicked me away, but eager to try again. Even at age 8, I was nothing if not persistent and shockingly transparent in my desire to be liked.
Luckily, while I didn’t outgrow my persistence, I did outgrow the gene that made me care if people liked me, but I never did outgrow the desire for a big family.
If you haven’t poured through my archives with a fine-toothed comb to discover that *gasp* my eldest was born *gasp* out of wedlock *gasp* and sired by another *gasp* father, well, he was, but if you haven’t, it’s because we don’t make a big deal out of it here at Casa de la Sausage.
Anyway. It’s not a dirty little secret or anything, it’s just not that important to us, because, really, it’s kind of old news now. But after I was pregnant with him and before I had met The Daver (this was a shockingly narrow window), I knew that I wanted to have more children, and, being the planner that I am, I wanted to have them closer together than my own brother and I are.
Part of the problems (but really, only a small part) that my brother and I faced were that we are ten years apart. What do an eight year old and an eighteen year old have in common? Fuck-NOTHING. The other problems are farther below the surface and much more purulent, so let’s just stick with the age difference, shall we?
Luckily, The Daver came along before I had to think about begging my male friends for a shot of their Man Juice–can you imagine the awkwardness? Because I can’t–and I would happily have dropped trou and tried to start makin’ babies well before I was Mrs. Aunt Becky Sherrick Harks.
The Daver is more traditional than I am (I know, you’re shocked), so we waited until after the wedding to cook up a couple of crotch parasites. I got pregnant with Alex as we were nearing our one year anniversary and Amelia as we were nearing our third. And no, to clear up any pesky rumors, we have no affection for the letter “a”.
I mean, it’s a good letter and all, and it’s a vowel so that makes it awesome by association, but if I had to BE a vowel, I would be “sometimes y”. Wouldn’t you?
It was weird the amount of ominous flack I got from people as I lugged Alex and Ben around, largely pregnant with my third.
“You’re going to be busy…” people would cluck meaningfully at me, obviously disdainful of my “delicate condition”
“Wow… you have your hands FULL,” others would sort of sneer, as I heaved a box of diapers and Alex, never offering to lift a finger to help.
While I appreciate that everyone is entitled to have an opinion on everything, and what comes out of (or, apparently, goes INTO) my vagina is no different, this was really not their call to make. They never liked to hear it when I told them as much, but come on, how rude could you be. I had 3 kids, not thirty. My uterus wasn’t exactly a clown-car yet.
But no, thank YOU, Mr. Fuckface, I appreciate you loudly judging me in front of my children, I have it under control. And you know what, I do. I still have it under control even now that I’m only pregnant with a burrito baby.
I sit in the other room sometimes, the baby banging merrily away in her saucer, gnawing on a pair of metal measuring spoons that were her older brother’s favorite toy too, screaming joyfully, her voice echoing against the glass door and bouncing back again.
Mingling with it are the indistinguishable voices of her older brothers, who have–5 years apart–the same tone and timbre of voice (without the words, I cannot tell them apart) as they scream delightedly together, piling on top of each other like squirmy puppies.
They are happy. My children, they are happy.
And I smile quietly to myself, as I sit there listening, knowing that if I do nothing else right for the rest of my life, I have done this right.
My children, I have done right by.