Last week I held a newborn baby for the first time. Not like, the first time ever, but rather the first time since my wife and I officially decided that we were not going to have any more children. We are the (usually) happy parents of two beautiful (and oft terrifying) children; a boy and a girl. Why did we decide not to have more children? Well, there are a few reasons.
- My wife had REALLY hard pregnancies combined with HORRIFIC labours. Every conceivable intervention and two c-sections. Physically, it would be hard to do that gain.
- My wife, the winner of bread and bringer of bacon, is self-employed and another round of maternity leave, even the mere 3-4 months that she takes would be digging another financial hole.
- Our kids are wicked hard. I mean, WICKED hard. Taking care of more than two of these people would likely kill me. I’ve already lost all of the hair off the top of my head and my beard is almost entirely grey.
But I love babies. Probably the highlight of my entire life thus far (aside from MAYBE Vader holding a tarantula last week or my daughter mastering pooping into a little plastic bucket known as a potty) has been my children sleeping on me. The smell and sound and feel of a little human resting comfortably on you, occasionally snoring, is basically the best feeling in the world…ever.
So, while at a weekly playgroup called Mom’s Morning Out (yes…ha ha…very funny) last week I got to hold a small, 5 day old baby. He was adorable. He barely opened his eyes once and just curled in between my beard and shoulder. And I cried a little.
For my wife, it was the realization that she’d never breastfeed again and for me, it was the idea that I’d never hold one of my children like that ever again. Sure, we cuddle here and there but not every night…for weeks and months.
So what does all this mean? It sounds cheesy and lame and ridiculous but cherish the time you have. I felt so tired those nights, watching season after season of The West Wing from 8pm-3am every night while my beautiful little daughter slept on me. If I had the chance to do it again, I would. In a heartbeat. If you would like to have some idea of what I really mean, I’d recommend that you check out a movie called About Time. It will give you just a little bit of that sensation that I’m talking about.