After I had my eldest we were already planning our second. We had always said that we would have two or three children.
Two or three.
We’d see how it went.
Or is such a little word. Such an insignificant word. But one which I should have paid more attention to.
Because two or three means just that. We could stop at our two perfect boys or we could add another sibling to the mix. We could try and not be successful, or we could try and be sucessful.
But then came the little one, and his dramatic birth which nearly killed us both. And suddenly or three was off the table.
Two or three gone.
And with it all the potential and possibilities that go with that one little word. Or.
And my two boys are perfect. I wouldn’t change them for the world, every sleepless night they’ve ever given me, every tantrum, every bite, every cuddle, every kiss, every smile. I wouldn’t change. I wouldn’t wish them to be any different.
Yet still I mourn the possibility of a third child. Still I think what if. Still I dream of what a third child could mean.
What I’m mourning here isn’t the fact I’m lucky enough to have two little boys. I’m mourning the child that could have been our or three.
The little boy or girl that would have taken us from four to five.
That would have promoted the littlest to big brother status. And added gravitas to the eldest’s title of big brother.
That would have given the children the advantage of outnumbering the adults.
The potential little person they would become. The friendships they would, or wouldn’t form with their brothers.
And yes, the or three may never have happened for us.
We may never have been blessed with a third. We could have tried and tried but never gotten pregnant again. It may have been the case that we weren’t able to have a third child.
But we would have tried. That possibility would still be there.
And yes, some days I couldn’t even imagine adding an or three into the equation.
Most days I can’t. Most days the two is where I am. The two is where I would always stay no matter if the or three was a possibility.
But the or three is not a possibility
And yes, I know how lucky I am to have my two, healthy, loving boys. But some days? Some days I wonder about the what if of the or three and I mourn the possibilities.
But that’s OK, I just need time to say goodbye to a dream I once had of three little faces looking up at me.
I need to work on letting go of the potential. It’s time for me to be leaving behind the or three once and for all.
How about you? How many children do you want? How many did you have? Are you too letting go of a dream you once had? I’d love to hear in the comments or on Facebook.