I have an aunt and uncle.

They have a son, like we do.

Their son is an only, like E. is.

That their son is an only was their choice, unlike us. I once asked my aunt about it, back in the winter, after we’d lost the baby, and she told me that she had been worried about her career. She had seen first-hand what could happen to a woman when something happened to her husband and she had no career to fall back on. She didn’t want that to happen to her.

So they have only one child.

They are in their mid-fifties now.

Their son has finished his undergraduate degree and has found a job that he enjoys.

He just moved in with his girlfriend. My aunt and uncle helped them set up their new place.

My aunt and uncle built interesting careers. My aunt is retired now. My uncle isn’t quite ready to go.

They travel to interesting places.

They have hobbies.

They take good care of themselves.

They make time for each other.

They are smart and funny and joyous.

They don’t look like they feel they’re living a second-best existence.

They don’t look like they feel that something or someone is missing from their family.

They look, not to put too fine a point on it, like they are having an absolute blast.

I looked at them this Christmas and thought, They could be US.

And that wouldn’t be such a bad thing.




Filed under Family, Lonely Onlies?, Second Thoughts, Three's Company

6 responses to “Inspiration

  1. Yes, that could be you. No, it actually WILL be you. It takes a while, but you do get to a point where you can truly love what you have without feeling a pang of emptiness for what might have been. When I look back now, all I feel is gratitude that it is all behind me, and I can live my life again. You will get there. I promise.

  2. I’m sure that will be any of us that are lucky enough (and aren’t we lucky???) to have won the jackpot once.

    Also, for me anyway, I often wonder if we had another, would I not feel this way 2-3 years later again? As much as a sibling would be nice, I also just want to experience pregnancy, breast feeding and infancy again.

  3. Turia

    Wow, Marianne, I can say with confidence that if we had another, I would NOT be feeling this way in a couple of years! My desire for a second is heavily driven by my visions of the future family that I wish I could have. I liked being pregnant, but I was dreading going back to infancy and much of the whole first year.

    Thanks, catwoman. I know I will get there, eventually.

  4. Being healthy, financially comfortable empty nesters will have its perks!!

  5. I had a moment this Christmas season where I ventured into a Babies R Us to get some clothing for various nieces/nephews. It was bittersweet, of course – to look at onesies and cute infant clothes. But all of a sudden I was aware that there were crying babies EVERYWHERE. And I felt this huge (and very surprising) sense of relief when I went home to my son and husband, who were watching the football game on TV.

    So I’m with Catwoman. This is VERY much me right now: “When I look back now, all I feel is gratitude that it is all behind me, and I can live my life again.”

    I am so thankful for Owen, and I do have moments – pangs, really – of what could have been, especially in the fall, when I am reminded of my two babies that never made it. But all of that pain, that suffering – it’s behind me. it doesn’t hurt like it used to. And overwhelmingly, I am thankful for this life I have now.

    You will get there. I promise.


  6. I love this. There is just so much good ahead.

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