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One and Done
My daughter is a “lonely only.” Sure, I could still have another baby, but a Magic 8 Ball would probably tell me don’t count on it. And I would nod and be all: thank you, Magic Ball. Truth is I don’t want to have another child, so that makes me unapologetically, 100% wonderful with that decision. But it’s everyone else that has the issue.
It’s as though having one child is a slippery slope; like I went and had my lips plumped and then noticed my nose was too big and then had lipo. Or, I had one chip and then, whattaya know, I look down and I’ve eaten the whole bag AND unbuttoned my pants. How did that happen?
My plan is to have the one I have and be done, but everyone wants to know: when are you going to have another one?
I say this to friends. Of course I do, that’s why they are friends. They continue to have babies and I get to hold their babies, have my uterus tingle, and - before it becomes overwhelming - hand them back. Which, beyond the uterus tingle, is exactly what grandparents say. But it’s the people everywhere else I go that want to know:
“Is this your only one?”
“When are you going to have another?”
“But what about when you die? She’ll be all alone. “
Whoa, way to take the guilt to a whole other level and bring up my untimely death that hasn’t even happened yet. I’m not kidding, the death guilt trip did happen and happened more than once. I’m thrilled that people at the grocery store thought my life plan came with a discount on waffles, but unfortunately it didn’t. And waffles are what, a dollar? Save the 50 cents and let me live a long, prosperous life where, when I die, everyone mourns the loss of ME.
Maybe the folks at the grocery store should be worried about my ever increasing vanity and not my decision to raise one child.
I’m usually polite because I am always polite. It’s just my thoughts that run rampant with what I really want to say. Strangers, generally, just want to make small-talk and I, generally, do not want to have another child. It’s when the two combine that I get crabby.
As my daughter gets even older, no one will ever ask me this. Just like they don’t ask me if she’s potty trained. It’s assumed once they hit fourth grade. Just like it’s assumed that I’m just plump in the middle and not currently pregnant.
By my friends.
Liz Henry is the irreverent voice behind the award-winning blog The Six Year Itch. She lives with her daughter and her partner, Slasher, in Philadelphia. That's not his real name and that's not her real hair color. Her soft middle is totally real. Liz graduated sum...Read More