Friday, March 17, 2006

Cough, Cough, Choke, Sputter...

Do you hear that? It's the death of a dream. I witnessed several of those this week. Mostly my own. I can't even really focus in on exactly which dream of mine is breathing its last. I just carry this sense of dismay.

I look at my beautiful children and I remember that I was going to be a good mom. Not only to three children, but to a multitude. We played around with having a dozen. You know, there are quite a few people I know that set out to have "one or two" children and ended up with these huge families because they just loved their kids so much. But before we were married we were sure that we'd have at least four, on our way to eight, and might re-evaluate ourselves to twelve. Not all biological. I did have that much sense. But I was so sure that I could make a large family work. I was the expert. Relax. Let your kids be kids. Love them unconditionally. Discipline consistently. And from that would evolve this beautiful machine where people cared about one another and rotated around each other in this fabulous organic family.

I can't even keep all three of my children dressed with their hair combed.

Not that I don't try. I try to relax, let my kids be kids, love them unconditionally, discipline consistently. But here's the thing: When you let kids be kids, they fight, they argue, they undress in public, they pull out one of two pigtails while in their car seat on the way to get their picture taken, and sometimes they look you right in the face and say, "NO!"

So I feel done. Really, really done. And it makes me sad. Because I didn't spend my last pregnancy thinking it might be my last. I thought it was just one more on the way to a huge family. I didn't get to adopt again like I'd hoped I would. Sure I keep toying around with the idea, but just as I get set to call the social worker to update my homestudy, I have a really bad mom day and I can't help but think, "Why on earth would another child benefit from my lousy parenting?"

I can see this blog coming back to haunt me in four years when the social worker says, "Now Jamie, in 2006 you didn't think you were a fit parent. How have you changed?" I didn't say I wasn't fit (did I?). I'm just not sure I'm the best choice out there, right now, for another one.

Maybe once this whole potty training nightmare is behind me and the memory has dulled, my dying dream will breathe a fresh breath and find new life.

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