Friday, January 24, 2014

They Can Only Get Older From Here

I'm not embarrassed. It's nothing to be embarrassed about. I got a vasectomy this week. There, I said it. I'm 35. We have three beautiful children. Getting "fixed" doesn't seem like an outrageous thing to do at this point in ours lives. Becky was constantly bringing it up to me. It wasn't that she was pushing me. Not at all. I just don't remember to make phone calls. One of my many flaws. Once I made the call to meet with my doctor about it, it was kind of a non-issue. Becky and I were more than content with our girls. Even though we both would like to have had a boy the odds weren't really in our favour. Besides, I would never want the girls to think that having a boy would somehow diminish how we feel about them. Our girls are strong, smart, independent and can tackle anything they put their minds to. Why would we want anything more?
The girls themselves said they want(ed) a brother and it was hard to tell them that it wasn't going to happen. As bad as it sounds, we just can't afford it. That does sound bad and it's not what I mean exactly. Sure we could makes end meet but it's more fiscally responsible I suppose. I mean, as parents, in the collective sense, we always want to do better for our children, right? So at what point do we decide that what we have is enough. Not having enough bedrooms was a good start. But it just made sense at three. We want to be able to provide everything we can for our girls. It breaks our heart when have to keep the purse strings closed. So as much as it pains me to say it, this decision was partially financially motivated. We want to be able to take the girls to dance and piano lessons, and out to the movies without even thinking about it. And not have to sacrifice those things to pay for diapers or all the other baby stuff. We want to make the girls feel as important as they are. Plus, they're girls so at some point they're gonna want to go shopping. ALL THE TIME. I can see it coming. Then college/university. Then marriage. Oh, don't say that!
Really, before I had the procedure I never really thought about it. It wasn't a hard decision to make so I didn't stew over it. But now that it's over and done, and I can't go back, I'm thinking about it a lot. I don't regret the decision in the slightest, it's still the right choice, but the permanence of it has started to sink in. For 10 years, almost our entire married life, we've had a little kid or a baby around. Ruby isn't a baby anymore. So now it's just little kids. Then they'll be big kids. Teenagers. Adults. They can only get older from here. The thought of never holding a tiny little baby all your own again is pretty heavy. Never again will a newborn child be fully dependant on Becky and I. As a parent it's a hard thing to grip because that's our job. Our job is to take care of our children. And now, with every day that passes our three girls grow one day closer to taking care of themselves. I'm sure that's why some families just keep having kids. They need to take care of something.
But as big a pill as never having more children can be to swallow, it has sharpened my appreciation for Grace, Amelia and Ruby. It's clear now that these are my only children so I need to cherish that fact. Focus on it. I need to commit myself to doing the best I can raising them because I won't get another chance. There are plenty more lessons to learn but the situations they apply to will continue to evolve. Instead of potty-training it'll be boyfriends. (Not that going potty and dating involve the same lessons. You know what I mean!) Instead of riding a bike, it'll be driving a car. Instead of playing "house", they'll be moving out of the house.
Ya sure, before long unprotected sex will be a no-brainer but the real benefit of unloading the gun (hehehe) has been that increased feeling of love for my three girls and that drive to be the best dad I can be for them. I don't know if the girls have noticed, or if Becky has noticed, but I've noticed a change in me. I hug them more. Kiss their little heads more. I pay more attention. I'm looking at a picture of Grace and Amelia eating ice cream as Ruby sits behind me picking her nose and my heart is just bursting. I still have work to do but these are my girls and now I can love them with everything I have. And Becky too, of course. That's a different kind of love ;)
Can someone pass me some more Tylenol?

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