I never, ever, ever dreamed I’d have an only child. I wanted a big family. I imagined jockeying schedules and carting kids to other kids’ recitals. I dreamed of backyard games where you don’t even need to invite neighbors over because you’ve got enough for a team. I had plans, and as usual, God changed them.
Contrary to popular opinion, I don’t have one child because I can’t handle more. I don’t have one child because I’m too selfish or too obsessed with what things cost. I don’t have one child because I’m vainly concerned about what pregnancy would do to my body. I have one child because God asked me to trust His plan and His time rather than mine.
And while any number of kids has its challenges, let me tell you about having an only child.
Just one means I’m “the other kid.” I don’t go to the park and chat with other moms or get something done while they are in the playroom. I am the other side of the teeter totter, the pusher of the swing, the throw to someone’s catch.
Just one means I do everything twice. I have a “helper” whether it helps or not. Laundry, dishes and putting on make up take double (at least) the necessary time because I do them each once with help and then once correctly.
Just one means I’m writing this while someone climbs my rolling chair like a jungle gym. Try typing while chasing your butt around the room. Seriously. Try it.
Just one means I am never alone. Ever.
Just one also means I get to savor every snuggle as long as she’ll let me.
Just one means I get to see every gymnastics class, impromptu dance recital in the living room and swim lesson.
Just one means I am the nose she wants to nuzzle.
Just one means she knows how to make friends anywhere she goes.
Just one means she speaks confidently and clearly because she had to learn to do so for herself.
Just one means that as long as I make the choice to give her my attention, that attention is undivided.
For now, I have one. If there are more in your house, you could make a list about how sometimes trying but always rewarding it is to have 2 or 3 or 4 or more. Just do me a favor and remember that the mom you see with “just one” has a long list too. When you’re tempted to think the grass is greener, just remember: it all has to be mowed!