Wednesday, October 29, 2008

One

Graham did something last night that made me both incredibly proud and heart-wrenchingly sad.

He played with the cat.

Horace was sleeping in front of the fireplace, oblivious to the fact that Graham had placed around him the wooden giraffes and Inuit carvings we display in the room. Graham was chattering animatedly, showing the cat each figurine and making them dance in front of his unblinking eyes when it hit me.

Graham was no longer a toddler. Graham was a creative and imaginative little boy who was capable of creating fantasy worlds and magical playgrounds that he was anxious to share with a playmate.

And Graham was playing with the cat because he doesn't have a sibling to play with.

For a long time now I have wanted a sibling for Graham to play with. But yesterday was the first time my heart hurt with the yearning and the emptiness.

And with the inadequacy.

This is not where I expected to be. Life has given me many, many blessings to count and yet I did not expect this: that my almost-three-year-old would be reduced to sharing his childhood joys with a cat, even if I have always considered that cat my first baby.

Because he isn't. Of course he isn't.

Graham is my first baby. He is my only baby. And he's not a baby anymore: he's a little boy.

And that makes me both incredibly proud and heart-wrenchingly sad.

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50 comments:

Autumn said...

I'm sorry to say, I got a puppy for my son to play with because I felt bad that he didn't have a playmate. I also desperately needed another baby in the house.

April said...

So I shouldn't be surprised in a few months when you make an announcement :)
Come over to my house tonight. If it was anything like last night, Riley will be marking Sylvia's homework while Sylvia says "Stop!" every 5 seconds and I shout "no talking!" for the umpteenth time.
But of course, that's just some of the time. My fave imagery in my head lately is that of the two girls walking hand in hand talking about their days last week.

the planet of janet said...

somehow i suspect this is how i ended up with four kids (and a step).

Nowheymama said...

I was at this stage a few years ago, and now K. has a little brother AND a little sister.

ewe are here said...

He's not 'reduced' to anything. He has a parents who adore him and who will make sure he has plenty of friends to play with.... and a cat.

Cats are good. My boys would love to have a cat.

jen said...

oh sister, do i ever get this post.

and we don't even have a cat.

Leanne said...

Um. I still get sad when I see my three children playing together. My girls are grand, but my son? He needs a brother. But four is too many for this mama and I'm too old. Sigh.

RiverPoet said...

So now that you've opened the door, may I ask the question? Are you at that point of thinking about another? Children are such a wonderful, complicated blessing, aren't they?

I had my son when my daughter was almost 4. I'm glad I had him, and I wanted more. Just wasn't in the cards. But my sister and my brother, and many of my friends, have single children, and they're just fine.

I'm sure you and the hubby will absolutely do the right thing when you think about it.

Peace - D

Ellyn said...

They are such a blessing. A handful but an amazing blessing.

One of my favorite memories of my children's life was the first time my son held my daughter.

Heather said...

You know it's not a bad thing that he plays with the cat. You know that, right? He is making his own fun. That's a wonderful skill to have.

Renée aka Mekhismom said...

I can completely relate to your post. It is great btw. I love my little boy and he is a toddler at 17 months but I do long to hold a helpless little baby in my arms again. Maybe we will be preggo together.

tommie said...

oh...I totally hope you start to feel better soon...whether you have another one or decide he will be a single.

We never had any control over the sequence of ours...the first took $$$$$ amount of money. The second one was a total surprise

InTheFastLane said...

A sibling would be great. But, there is an awful lot of of fighting and nonfun-ness that goes with having a sibling. Either way. sibling or no, there are good times and not so good and there are plusses and minuses. Don't beat yourself up, he will be fine.

ourlittlefunnybunny said...

Oh please don't feel sad about this; I grew up an only child and was loved and had many friends to play with, and yes on many occasions I did play with our family cat too!
He will be just fine!
I am dealing with the 2nd child debate at my place...I am happy with the one and hubby wants another...

Desiree Fawn said...

So sweet.
Our little girl will have two cats & a dog to play with when she comes.
Maybe they will be her only siblings, maybe not ^_^
Only time will tell.
Your little dude will be just fine with the kitty ^_^ I was an only child for the 1st 11 years of my life and I LOVED playing with all of our family pets (and at times there were almost 20 of them).

ps. Thank you for your comment on my blog <3 Merci!

Vered - MomGrind said...

PLEASE don't say reduced. He's not reduced. You wrote about it not too long ago: Graham has a happy childhood. So happy in fact that he doesn't even realize how happy he is.

I have a friend, Ann, who just wrote about how heartbroken she is that her daughter will not have siblings.

Only Children

I'll tell you what I told her: I have a close friend who’s an only child. She’s one of the happiest people I know. She chose to have one child, which says a lot I think.

for a different kind of girl said...

I've got two boys who play together, but I know this feeling. I know this feeling very, very well.

OHmommy said...

Oh, honey... this is great.

It is bitter sweet but great. So sweet. And no picture?

flutter said...

I would give it all to have a Graham

Zoeyjane said...

While, like others, I don't think you should feel he's reduced to anything - imagine if he didn't even have the vision to imagine WITH a cat and only expected humans to be engageable! - I know one way to solve that "problem".

Well, actually, there's lots of ways, well, no, there's kind of only a couple of ways, but there's lots of imagination that could be used in problem solving. Okay, I can't be subtle. Comment FAIL.

sky girl said...

Cats are good playmates. Don't beat yourself up over this.

xo

tinsenpup said...

I am sad, sad, sad reading this, because I am only now having to face the fact that my little girl might always be one. And in our story, I am the cat and the cat is worn out and old and will never ever be enough for the little girl.

Kat said...

Aww. I can imagine.
Hugs.

SciFi Dad said...

We always wanted more than one, but when our secondary infertility passed 12 months, we started to notice how much my daughter wanted a sibling. I know that pain, and that sadness.

Mara said...

These moments are so real and so touching. Enjoy them and don't be sad he is happy you can tell.

Mara
http://24stepstogo.blogspot.com/

Mara said...

These moments are so real and so touching. Enjoy them and don't be sad he is happy you can tell.

Mara
http://24stepstogo.blogspot.com/

Kimmylyn said...

((Hugs)) .. don't feel bad..

Parent Club said...

My baby, who turned 8 in October, wanted to sleep in my bed last night bc she was scared. My dh got angry at the mention. My thought "darn it she's still my baby".

They are always babies. They are always growing up.
Ironic.

Angella said...

They grow so fast. Sigh.

Cheffie-Mom said...

I can tell Graham is a sweetheart. Where's the picture? Feel better. (:

Aunt Becky said...

Oh, I so know what you mean.

Wesley said...

That's really sweet. :)

You have nothing to feel bad about. I've read that it's best to wait at least 3 years between babies anyway. You're doing fine.

I just recently started following this blog, so I haven't learned much about you yet, and I hope you don't find this question rude or intrusive. Are you unable to conceive for some reason? Feel free to not answer if you don't want to.

Kat said...

I love and HATE those moments. They make you so proud in one breath and break your heart the next.

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

I'm so sorry you are feeling this way. I have been dealing with the same type of feelings for the past year or so. It's hard to accept when something you planned for or expected doesn't happen.

I'm glad you've got Graham and that you cherish him. I hope these other feelings will pass.

Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

I'm so sorry you are feeling this way. I have been dealing with the same type of feelings for the past year or so. It's hard to accept when something you planned for or expected doesn't happen.

I'm glad you've got Graham and that you cherish him. I hope these other feelings will pass.

Polly said...

Its almost like it slaps you in the face isn't it. Whatever choice you make, it will all work out as it should.

Mom On The run said...

Just yesterday night I wrote about whether we should stay with 2 or have #3. Now I'm not overly certain of your situation, so please don't be offended, but one of the comments on my post was: "You'll never regret the children you have, but will always regret the ones you didn't have". That one comment has pretty much sealed the deal for my hubby and I - this spring we'll be trying for #3. That said, no matter how many children you have, Graham will always be a happy little boy because of how much you love and truly care for him.

Mighty Morphin' Mama said...

Oh Kelly, I have been thinking about you and this journey for a long time, wondering how you are doing. I am sorry that you are having a hard time.
I think Graham would be playing with the cat whether he had a sibling or not. That is pretty cute!

Damselfly said...

Oh! This hits me in the heart. I totally relate to realizing you have a boy and not a baby anymore -- and also to wishing for a sibling for him.

Karen MEG said...

Kelly, this is a heartbreaking, but beautiful post. It is a wonderful thing how Graham plays so well with Horace. It's amazing watching them grow up, but at the same time so bittersweet...I was just ordering the kids' school photos and cannot believe the changes in a year. Mind-boggling, my boy even thinks he's a different person ;).

Never inadequate, sweetie. Never.

Hugs to you. (And you'll be getting some for real over that drink ...)

Tracey said...

Life isn't always what we picture, is it? And yet, you have Graham and he is FABulous. Siblings are a wonderful gift for children, but not necessary for a happy life.

Take care...

Heather said...

Your boy is precious, and you are raising him lovingly.

Badness Jones said...

Siblings can be wonderful, but there's no guarantee that they'll be playmates or grow into friends. You just have to do what is right for you. That said, last night Bad (almost 2) INSISTED that his sister "Eegie" come and sleep in his bed, and when I went to check on them before turning in myself, I almost choked on my own heart, he was lying upside down on top of the covers, but they were turned into each other, and holding hands. Too bad they ruined it by trying to beat the crap out of each other at breakfast this morning! Ah well....

painted maypole said...

oof. i hear you on this one.

Kat said...

I'm sorry for your heartache. I can tell you, having raised one to adulthood as an only, that it's not necessarily a bad thing for them.

My little one is an only as well, his brother is 22 so he's not around to play with him. I think about the same thing, how I wish he had a sibling his age, but it's not going to happen. I understand why it hurts your heart that Graham doesn't have anyone.

wheelsonthebus said...

It sounds to me like his imagination is serving him just fine...

Catherine said...

Like others, I'm sad for you too. But! I come bearing good tidings. I am an only and I did fine. Better than fine. We have 2 sets of friends with onlies and they get to do so many things we can not fathom with two. There's a different level of concentration when the parents out number the kids.

More than one does not guarantee a playmate.

Just last week I was talking about #3. And then we went to the pumpkin patch. My two ran off ahead and it occurred to me, that they are kids and a baby would be a baby. That baby would be with me, they'd not include him/her in their reindeer games. And that sealed it for me. *This* is my family.

wheelsonthebus said...

It sounds to me like his imagination is serving him just fine...

Jaina said...

That nearly made me cry.

Anonymous said...

I see this empty hole in my family, my son should have had an older sister to pretend with, and he should be pestering me to help with the new baby right now. But because my body kills girls, there's just him, and he makes up elaborate games with stuffed toys and cushions all on his own.