Only-Child Myths

So I just returned from a whirlwind tour of The 'Ville, attempting to fill Phoebe's latest prescription ...

Now it's a swollen gland -- an effect of her double ear infection earlier this week. Kates and I discovered the small bump on her jawline last night and immediately started thinking, "Great, she has cancer!" The nurse Kates called this morning only fostered our fears when she told Kates, "Yeah, that doesn't sound normal ..." Thankfully, the doctor said it was nothing to fret about; he wrote a prescription and sent us on our way.

Which led to my jaunt around town tonight. I arrived at the Walgreens pharmacy at 8:10, only to learn it closed at 8. So I headed across the street to the Walmart pharmacy, just in time before it closed at 8:30 ... I dropped off the prescription, and then had about 20 minutes to burn until it was ready.

I ended up in the magazine aisle, scanned the racks for something interesting and the TIME cover caught my eye: Only-Child Myths Persist As More Parents Choose One Kid. (Unfortunately, that link is the online abridged version. You'll have to find your own magazine to read the entire article.)

I won't deny the one-child conversation has come up a couple times in our household, for all of the reasons mentioned in the TIME story. The desire to build our careers, the freedom to travel -- and, in these tough economic times, lower living costs.

I'm in no way suggesting that having one child has become such a burden that we've become cold on the thought of having another one. I'd start by telling you that PJ is so gosh darn delightful and fun (most of the time; she is 2 years old after all), that I get nervous thinking, What if the next one isn't so perfect? -- something I'll bet every first time parent has considered at some point. I like our little trio, and sometimes it's hard to envision another little person sitting around our table.  

Having just one child is something I never would have considered before Phoebe was born. In the pre-child days, I was set on having at least two, and having them close together ... Since then, Kates and other personal factors -- like our recent transition -- have convinced me that spacing our children a few years apart suits us better.

Then again, Kates and I each have one younger sibling, and there's no denying the major roles they've played in our lives. The camaraderie and the comiserating can't be matched. Siblings do and share things that parents don't seem to understand -- and sometime never know ... For me, that sibling relationship always conjures up the lyrics in Baz Luhrmann's prophetic "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)": Be nice to your siblings; they are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

There have been, after all, a growing number of instances that I've watched Phoebe playing and thought, it would be great for her to have a brother. I also long to have a boy with whom I can build that father-son bond -- teaching him how to fish, coaching his baseball team, participating in the Boy Scouts ...   

That, and a certain unscientific study Kates took said that we were due for one more child, and it's going to be a boy.

One never knows.

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