My son has two Mr. Tickle dolls. He called them brothers. He knows about brothers from some reliable sources. His nephews are brothers. Mario and Luigi are brothers. And Elmo’s friend, Mr. Noodle, has a brother, conveniently also named Mr. Noodle.
Ryan asked me who his brother was. I told him he didn’t have a brother, but he did have lots of people who loved him. And I started listing them. But he interrupted me. He said his brother was on Mommy’s computer, in PhotoBooth. That’s where he sees “two Ryan’s.”
There’s the part of me that recognizes this brief conversation as exactly what it is - an adorable interchange between a son and mother, a chance for my son to make connections with new words and familiar experiences in his life. But, there’s the part of me that jumped ahead, and wondered if my son will ever present me with the real question, “Why doesn’t Ryan have a brother?”
Before my husband and I decided to start our family we were constantly asked when we were having a baby. Now that my son is 3 1/2 years old, the question has become, “When are you giving him a brother or a sister?”
The answer is, “We’re not.”
I certainly don’t have all the answers about life, but I knew enough about myself to acknowledge that I wasn’t ready to be a mom for a while. And now, I’m wise enough to admit that my marriage and our current family dynamic will not function successfully if we have another child.
The older I’m getting, the more I’m realizing that I can make all the plans I want, but life is going to happen regardless of my plans. So, ten years ago if you had asked me how many children I would have, I would have confidently answered, “Two.” That was then.
Now, I am the mother of an only child. An only child who has an endless supply of love surrounding him.
My son is an only child - just like Elmo. And look how happy and loved Elmo is!