It’s a common gripe among mothers of onlies: the inquisitions from usually well-meaning if not on occasion insensitive family, friends and especially strangers about when the next one is due.

Like any “advice,” these conversations only bug me when there’s a hint of criticism that somehow my decision is wrong. And it’s not the put-down that bugs me, but the fact that this person believes it is her place to cast an opinion on my personal life.

But recently I’ve been noticing that really the ones who do bring up the issue of a second child for our family are Chinese – friends who not long ago immigrated from China, a fellow mother on the playground, an administrator at my son’s school, my aunt. In particular, the one person who brings this topic up the most is a new and dear friend of mine, Mei. She tells me, “I never dreamt I would leave China, go to a foreign country someday. But when my husband got his student visa to America, the first thing he said was, ‘We will have another child.'” And she looks over at  her son. “Jack is so lucky. If we couldn’t come to America, Jack wouldn’t be here today.” Her second child, her American dream. He, and not I, is so lucky, are the words she has chosen. Lucky to be here, lucky to have life.

I listen to Mei with my heart wide open, sharing my tears for both her baby and the one we chose not to have.

2 thoughts on “Lucky

  1. Cecilia – Very moving post. I am enjoying hopping around your blog now that I know of it. Back to the topic at hand: As you may recall, I am an Only. I married an Only, we have had four babies and are privileged to raise three children. Each set of parents determines their ideal family size. And, in my observation, no matter the original plan, the 1, 2, 3,… 8, etc. children who end up inhabiting the house become the “perfect” number of children. As a fulfilled, happy, well-adjusted 41-year-old ONLY, I can tell you the love and care you are giving your son are what’s important. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this and so much else!

    • I appreciate that, Claudia! It is true. I think all families arrive at their “decision” for a reason, and certainly alot of factors contributed to our decision to have one. In the end our goals as parents are the same whether we have one or 8! I am so glad to hear that you are a very happy only!!

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