Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back Burner.

My husband was roped into coaching football this year. It's the Freshman "B" team...a group of guys who couldn't quite make the cut for the Freshman "A" team. And now they are relying on him to coach them into better skills and hopefully a slot on the JV Team next year. You know...the REAL JV team, not the "B" team where they only get the games the "A" team can't/doesn't take.

If you don't really know my husband, you think he knows a lot about football. You probably even wonder how many years he played in high school. You assume he's got Sunday Ticket and is a rabid fan. Being 6'5" and broad shouldered, it comes with the territory.

His knowledge of football is really sort of paltry. He knows enough to yell at the ref while he drinks a beer and watches a game. And then we beg him to turn off the TV so we can go/see/do and next thing you know it's spring training for baseball and we've only watched pieces of a few games.

So coaching is a challenge for him. He feels bad that he doesn't know drills and plays. Crap, he feels bad that he doesn't know what a Cornerback does. But he'll learn, and I know he will. My husband is amazing in many ways, but his dedication to his students is one of his most amazing qualities. For those nervous and falsely pompous freshmen all fighting to be a hero, he'll do anything. Including dragging his family to the Wednesday night game of the Freshman "A" squad on a day that hit 116.

So there we were, watching him stand on the field and try to soak up football through osmosis, when we ran into the wife of the "A" squad's head coach. Her eldest daughter is in Luca's preschool class this year. Her other daughter is a year younger than Rohan. And she's pregnant with Baby #3.

We made small talk which quickly turned to kid talk which then switched to baby talk. First, about the son she is expecting and how excited they are. Next, to how nervous they are to have 3 under 4. That's 3 kids in daycare/preschool at the same time on 2 teachers' salaries in case you were counting. Which she was.

And then she asked me that fateful question, "Just 2 for you guys?" and I stumbled over my response.

If you'd asked me in those hormone-laden days and weeks after Rohan's birth, when I was flying high on my amazing little family and feeling like SuperWoman, I'd have insisted there was another baby in our future. Truth be told, I still feel pretty strongly that we're not done. It's almost like there's another little baby waiting in the wings, and on those days when Darrick and I both talk wistfully about sweet newborn peach cheeks and baby fuzz I can see it like it's a foregone conclusion. We joke about how maybe this next one will look like me rather than being another little Daddy Clone. We talk about how much easier it will be to afford the baby when Luca's in kindergarten, or even better when she's in 1st grade and Rohan is 1 year away from Kinder (i.e. one year away from us not having to PAY for his schooling). We let Luca muse over possible baby names (She wants a girl, who will be named Flower, of course.).

But on other days? Our life as a family of 4 is pretty sweet. We have a rhythm. We have balance. We have dreams of a future that involves long road trips and a 10 year anniversary trip somewhere exotic. We don't miss diapers, especially now that we're down to only using a few Pull Ups a week since most mornings at least 1 kid wakes dry. We have faith that just about the time we're done paying for daycare/preschool we'll also have paid off our car and all our credit cards and we'll be able to live without worrying about money for 4 days before every payday. We have a small car that we hope will last for many years and doesn't really have room for a 3rd carseat.

But then: pretty soon Luca will be in a booster seat, which takes less space than a carseat. And soon enough our daycare/preschool costs will go down dramatically. And....and....and....and.....

It's a stalemate. And I don't know what should be our next move. I don't think Darrick does either, so most days we don't talk about the subject at all. On a date night recently, when conversation was flowing and I looked at my best friend across the table from me, I had the courage to lay it all out. I asked him if he thought he'd ever want to have another baby, even though I was sure I knew his answer. I guess I was feeling brave enough to hear him say no; he was done.

He didn't say that at all. He also didn't say he wants another baby someday for sure. In fact, it turns out that if we're perfectly attuned in any way at all, it's in uncertainty. Neither of us knows what the future will hold, and we're not ready to permanently close the door on babies in the future. So for now, we're moving it to the back burner. We're committed to reaching some other goals together first, from paying off the car and other debts to some home improvements. And we're talking careers long-term and a possible career shift for one of us. I guess time will tell whether or not another baby will fit into our life, and I'm finally ok with the decision not to make any decision at all.

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