Sibling Revelry

July 6, 2008 at 8:42 pm 4 comments

     We have a pot on our front porch in which a desert quail pair have made their nest. Eagerly we watched as one after another egg appeared. With a grand total of 15 eggs, Momma Quail settled in to sit on them day after day. We left on a 10 day trip figuring we would miss the hatching, but much to our delight, Momma and eggs were still here upon our return.

     Yesterday, when C cried to me because no one has invited him over all summer, I wondered again about our choice to have only one child. A choice made for a variety of reasons, and a decision made largely before C was born. Husband and I each have a brother, and while there were many times in my young life I would’ve paid someone to borrow my brother on a permanent basis, I now consider him the closest of friends. I regret C won’t have any siblings, nor any cousins, and wonder if someday he’ll feel all alone in the world. 

     Yet I knew, deep in my heart, that I only wanted one. Our early and later struggles with both C’s health and developmental challenges further solidified this decision, as we felt it imperative to give C our full attention. I look at large families with both admiration and awe for the energy Moms and Dads seem to have. Husband and I both recognized our own fatigue, partly due to our starting a family later in our lives as well as due to the issues we faced with C.

     I know families with lots of children, and they parent their brood with a grace, patience and skill I simply do not possess. A friend and her husband, after giving birth to 5 biological children, decided to foster, and subsequently adopt, a child with extreme bipolar disorder, fetal alcohol syndrome and asperger’s. Another friend and her husband have adopted 5 children, all on the autism spectrum, and are raising them off the grid with homegrown food, homeschooling, and the constant love and attention they need so desperately. In my book, these people are saints.

     As we watched this evening, another large family was born. A number of the 15 eggs hatched in our pot, and Momma Quail kept reigning the hatchlings in with her wings and ensuring they didn’t make the jump to the ground before they were ready. I reflected on what must be the joy of having a large family at the same time I reminded myself that having another child simply for a playmate for C would not have been a good decision. As he watched the pot through the window for glimpses of the babies, C announced he’d like to be a quail, and when I asked him why, he replied he’d like to know how to fly. Although I can’t help but wonder if it isn’t just that he’d like 14 playmates to call his own.

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Gospel of Thomas Little Lawyer

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. goodmum  |  July 7, 2008 at 8:54 am

    Wow! I can feel a lot of my own concerns from reading your post. We too have pretty much decided that our Little Man will not have any siblings. I too feel like my sis and bro are my best friends. It’s so hard to come to terms with the fact that Little Man won’t have the chance at that relationship. BUt, like you, we’ve faced a LOT of challenges already in raising our son and we don’t feel like we can handle any more. It’s hard, huh?

    It is hard….I have occasional bouts of guilt over this fact. It’s a tough reality, and I just pray he finds a spouse, has kids and has lots of friends to be his family when he’s grown up.

  • 2. robinaltman  |  July 7, 2008 at 11:57 am

    I have a solution. How about having sex with a quail, and giving C little half quail half human siblings?

    I just don’t even know what to say to that one except that you crack me up. I did, however, watch Dad Quail quite a bit last evening, and it struck me that he is kind of a wimp. I’m sure I’m wrong about that, but it seemed like Momma was squaking at him for hours (it sounded to me like “Hey, you, get your tail over here and give me a hand!”), and he was just nervously dancing up and down our front path without ever getting really close. But I’m sure I misinterpreted it and he was probably there to divert any potential predators away from the next – although it reminded me of the old day Dads pacing the halls of the hospital.

  • 3. FXSmom  |  July 8, 2008 at 8:55 am

    I planned on only having one and look at what happened. Number 2 was a total shock but I figured God must have presented her for a reason. I got fixed after her. No more of those suprises.

    But wait. Then I married a wonderful man who subsequently obtained sole custody of his two children. I am now raising 4 kids and wonder how in the world I still have hair. It’s not the way I would have planned it or wanted it. But I can’t change it and I try to make the best of it every day. But I definetly look forward to being 40 so I can get a break!!

    Hair? I’m impressed you have your sanity! 😉 No, just joking. It sounds wonderful, and you’re a great mom that oozes Mom-ness. I mean it when I say I’m in awe of people who have multiple kids. I think it takes a special kind of person.

  • 4. sheilas friend  |  July 8, 2008 at 3:36 pm

    As a self diagnosed mild aspi with some crappy memories i would say please don’t just have one. I’ve had years of unending isolation, the only person I’ve ever known is me. Now I’m fifty.

    Saw you from lastcrazyhorn – she knows me – I hope.

    Here are some notes – if it links:

    Yes, I do remember you from Sheila’s blog. Welcome, and thank you for visiting. The isolation does worry me, although we do our best on that score with playdates, camps and other activities. We’re done having kids – doc’s orders (for me). Of course we could adopt, which we have talked about, but have ruled that out at this point. We just don’t feel there’s any way we could be adequate (much less good) parents for more children than C. It’s been a tough choice, but the one that fit our family best, and one we did not make lightly, I promise.


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