When I met my husband we lived in separate apartments. Then the same apartment, then a duplex that we purchased and then a house we completely renovated. I was 32 when we bought our house. Our first home. It had a garage, two stories, a mailbox with just one number on it. I think it was when we moved into that house that it started.
We bought that house on a whim. We knew we wanted to graduate from the duplex to the single family but didn't plan on doing it so quickly. One day he brought the listing home, we went to see it- just to look. We went on vacation, came home, made an offer and bought it.
It was a small house but the upstairs had three bedrooms. The largest was ours, of course. We set up a spare room for the in-laws for when they came to visit and the third one was turned into an office. Even with the clutter of our old beat up desk, boxes of papers, random junk stuffed in the closet, it never felt like an office to me. When I entered I pictured curtains on the windows, the walls a pale shade of yellow and a rocking chair.
What really got me was the bathroom. Past the sink and the shower curtain with stripes, in my minds eye I saw a baby bathtub. A white one. I couldn't yet imagine the soft curve of a baby's full belly or the wrinkles on it's toes, those were still unknown to me. But I could imagine it there in the space of my house and my heart, where I never had envisioned such a thing before.
Like the house, the baby arrived relatively quickly, maybe too quickly for some. Not wanting to rush into anything else impulsively, we set an arbitrary parenting deadline; Two years.
Two years has come and gone and many conversations have been had. The answer my husband gave, many maddening times, when I asked if he wanted to do this again was "I think so". I can not help but over analyze everything and in my mind, if you are saying "I think so" and are not saying yes, then you are saying no. Which is part of the problem. Because it's not that clear cut and he was being honest with me, which was what I really wanted. I felt that he got swept up in the torrents of my baby fever last time and I didn't want that to happen again. Whatever outcome we chose, we would decide together.
I just wish that we could be clear in what we wanted. Some people know they want children so badly they will go through anything to get them. They just know. We are not those people. We do want another, but we talk endlessly of day care expenses, time, how we would manage, how little man would react, how old I am, risks of waiting, risks of not waiting, college funds, sick kids. I'm exhausted. And I'm not even pregnant.
But I know I could be. Because the ghost images are back. I imagine a baby strapped in a Bjorn when I'm on the treadmill. I picture two car seats in the back of the car. I think about introducing Cheerios for the first time, for the second time.
I told my husband I felt like we had already jumped in with both feet. Having another seems natural, since we're already parents. He feels like this decision is bigger than the first time, now that we know what it is to be parents. Sometime I have a hard time picturing it, he said to me.
Not me. I picture it all the time.