Son: "Mom, when can we get another baby? I want a brother, or a sister. I just want a sibling."
Me: "Well, babe, I do too. Just not sure that is in the cards for us anymore"
Son: "Well, you can adopt, and get a baby that way."
Me: "I could honey, but having one child alone, is hard enough, to then add another? I'm just not sure I could handle it!"
Son: "Well, then get a boyfriend."
Me: "Oh, should I adopt him too? Like a two-for-one special."
Son:" Yeah, do that!"
Laughter ensues. But this conversation is not the first one of its kind, nor did it end here. My nine-year-old son has been asking (begging) for years, to complete our family with more kids and sure, maybe a dad for him and a husband for me. Little does he know how much I share in this vision as well.
I often think about the choices I have made, primarily the one to marry my ex-husband all those years ago (wish I knew then what I know now). But playing Monday morning quarterback on that chapter of my life is not a good strategy and only promotes feelings of regret (which I don't subscribe to); I can only learn from the past and hope to make better choices moving forward. But hearing the yearning in my young son's voice, and knowing that it's the same in my heart is just plain painful.
But sometimes, I wonder what our life would be like if it were made up of more kids, and a dual parent home. I wonder what the relationships would be like, what arguments the kids would have, would there be harmony or acrimony? Would my son and I share the same bond as we have now? Would I be able to spread my love around so that every child got more than they deserved? Would my partner support, encourage and laugh with me? Could I be that for him? I can ask myself these questions, because it's not presently part of my future and I can still wonder, full of hope but empty with reality.
I never imagined that my life would be just my son and I; who plans for that? And I am certainly in no hurry to make any sudden moves just because my son's biological clock is ticking. Despite being divorced, I am a happy single person (I would just prefer not to be). I am not closing the door on love or marriage by any means, I am just taking my time, this time. I do have those moments however, when I think I should have "stuck it out and married (insert any name)" so that I could have a fuller family for my son, but what kind of life would that be for us? I know the answer is a resounding no, but when I see the look on my adorable sons face and wish it were duplicated in perhaps a little girl -- it's hard not "go there."
So to break the mood, my son tells me to "describe your future husband" -- nuts right? My child is helping me create a vision board for love. Sounds hilarious and, honestly, it wasn't as weird as it's sounding in this post but upon reflection, it just demonstrates the incredibly loving, and protective little person that I have had the pleasure of raising. He wants what we all want: to be loved, and part of a family that is honest, loyal, loving and long-lasting.
I explain to him, the beauty for me comes during the search for a partner; that as I meet different people, regardless of whether I "like them that way" or not, that I am always looking to be surrounded by quality people, so that our life is rich and full of kindness, compassion, humor and love. But when it comes to romance, that I am extra careful because I am not just dating for me, but for us. "That sounds about right, Mom," he quips back. I appreciate the opportunity to talk with him about being an only child, and how that makes him feel and his desires for "more". I cherish these moments when he is raw, and open about what he wants for himself and for our family -- he's an old soul, just like his momma.
Son: "OK, Mom, so here is what you need to do: Every weekend, go to the place that single people go. See a boy you like, walk up to him, say hello, kiss him and there you go. All set with a boyfriend."
Me: "Sounds about right, kiddo."
And off we went, into the sunset, following the gaggle of little piggy's flying in front of us.