Saturday, June 5, 2010

Only child

There's something to be said for having an only child. You don't have to give up your lifestyle so much; you just integrate the kid into it. You may have to ease up for a few years, until the kid is old enough to tag along on your grand adventures. But you don't have to give it up for good. You don't have to become those parents who wail, "Children RUINED my life!"

Those people do exist. I've seen them leave comments on other people's blogs.

Once you add the second child, familyhood becomes The Thing. It replaces any former kinds of lifestyle you may have had. Getting two kids to tag along is probably more than twice as hard, I'm guessing. I don't know. I've never tried it. But I do know that my two siblings and I did not travel well, and my parents were very reluctant to bring us on grand adventures. By the time they tried, two of us were already teenagers, and by then it's too late. Or it was for us, anyway.

I'm just thinking about this because it's time to plan for the fall convention season. Our grand adventures are on the convention circuit, and our lifestyle involves our small business, hotel rooms, and dealer tables. I can totally see AwesomeCloud getting absorbed into this lifestyle. What I'm not so sure of is having two kids along for the ride.

Maybe I shouldn't compare my kid(s) with my siblings and me. We are all different people. And our parents have different expectations. My parents expected my siblings and me to be all kid, all the time, and we were. My husband and I expect AwesomeCloud to participate in all levels of family activities, and we're already getting in lots of practice. We take him to events that are far above his age level, like the Audubon butterfly garden. (Children of any age can enjoy a stroll through a butterfly garden, but we're the ones who maintain it - Cloud has to tolerate hour-long weeding sessions and wheelbarrows full of mulch, and he does great, all things considered. He'll do even better as he grows up thinking this is normal.)

Same thing with dealer tables. We're easing him into it, testing his stamina, and as he grows he'll get used to the convention culture and it will be normal for him.

But how would we do that with two?

We're currently assuming we'll adopt another someday, and that may happen, but I want to weigh the pros and cons. One could say, "Who cares about your stupid comic book business when there are kids to be concerned about?" But, see, there aren't 'kids' yet. There is only 'kid'. If I'm going to have this thought process, now is the time. Now, before we drop the money on another adoption process. Once we sign up, we're going all the way.

Another one of my concerns is that if we sign up now, hoping the process will take awhile and give AwesomeCloud some time to grow up a bit, we'll end up rushing again and have our second child too soon. We say we're going to drag our feet, but the referrals came quickly last time - less than 8 months after we first signed on with our agent, we were matched with AwesomeCloud. There was another match, earlier, that we rejected because it was too soon. And then at the last minute I was actually considering adopting two at once, just because the opportunity was there.

A couple of adoptive mom bloggers are in the middle of discouragingly long waits, and I feel bad for them, but that doesn't happen to us even when we want it to. You say you're going to take your time accepting a referral, but when you get caught up in the process, you forget to wait. You just want to adopt everyone! Right now!

It's a lot to think about. Am I happy now? Will I have self-control if we try again? Does the benefit of a sibling for AwesomeCloud outweigh the benefit of the convention circuit? If having two children kills Dandelion Studios, will I regret it? Having one child could have killed our company, but it didn't. It just got us a junior partner (a very junior partner).

You know he'll be minding the table by himself by the time he's ten. And you know we GOTTA go to San Diego now. There's no way around it.

What a great childhood that will be.

Would a second child share that childhood, or prevent it from happening?

I don't know. You can't predict these things. But it's important to consider them.

1 comment:

  1. It was funny reading your post. It brought back a lot of memories of all the thoughts I had while we were deciding on going from one to two! I have to admit that it was VERY different with just one. We had Peanut very early on in our marriage, and he just kinda fit into our lifestyle without too many bumps. But when we went to two, we were a bit shell-shocked. It's hard to say if it's because our children's personalities are as different as night and day or if it was because we had only one child for so long first, but it definately is more complicated fitting two into certain activites:) The one thing that surprises us still to this day is how much Peanut adores his sister and how much it's meant to him to have a sibling. We thought it might be really hard for him to adjust to having a sibling, but, instead, he adjusted almost instantly and my husband and I took almost a year to get used to the changes! We never saw that coming:)