(like a wave on the ocean, romance...)
We were cleaning up after our demolition/renovation this past week, Darrick in the kitchen and me in the dining area. He was dusting the things I'd removed from the top of the kitchen cabinets, then we were deciding where they would go: in a box to be packed away, into a cupboard, under the sink, etc etc etc. All I cared about was keeping him from putting them back up on top of the cabinets, which prior to the painting had been littered with all kinds of random shit. Vases. Mason jars and old 1950s bottles. Silver platters, two fine china tea cups, the owner's manuals for our dishwasher and laptop (like...really???). I want to avoid that happening again for as long as possible, so I was semi-overseeing his cleaning and helping him figure out where to put things, since his default in the kitchen seems to be "Leave it on the counter, put it on top of the cabinets, or throw it away."
He's working his way through, and suddenly he holds something out and says, "Can we - should we toss this?". It's a black bag, and though I know where it came from I'm not positive I know what is in it, so I ask just to be sure. Unzipping it, he peeks in and says, "Medela stuff. Pump parts."
Silence between us. In my mind, I'm weighing the what-ifs and wondering if it's silly to keep something like that 'just in case'. I'm also thinking this is the man who, after Rohan was born, told me he was going to get a vasectomy because he was done, done, done. And if we do ever decide to have another baby, couldn't we just buy new parts for the breastpump? Wouldn't we need to buy new parts?
But telling him to toss them? It's sort of like a visual representation of throwing away a dream of mine. Not even a dream, really. More like denying that little bit of my heart and being that tells me we are not done having babies. No matter the logistics: money, space in a small house, sleepless nights and 3 kids (hopefully) in college someday and weddings and cars and first dates and first kisses and first heartbreaks (theirs, mine). No matter, as well, the fact that we have two beautiful and healthy and bright kids already and wanting a third feels like not being full enough of gratitude - of pushing our luck. Even while I was pregnant with Rohan, I had this little voice inside (where does that come from? the heart? the soul? the uterus?) telling me this would not be my last baby.
I don't always feel that way. There are days - weeks, even - when I think to myself that we're a "Two and Through" kind of family. Days when my kids wear me ragged with the running and yelling and playing and wrestling and crying and throwing things and tantrums and attitude. Days, even, when they are the picture of charming, sweet, cherubic little loves. And on either one of those kinds of days I might be found thinking to myself (either because I am worn the hell out OR because I am smitten like only a mom can be) that two is just fine, thank you very much.
So, what do I say about the pump parts? Knowing, as I do, that it's not just about those parts, but about what they represent: Are we done? Can we let this part of our lives be in the past?
And then, he answers for me. "You know what?" he says, setting the bag into my hands. "Why don't you just tuck these away in Rohan's closet for now?"