julie says i'm always living in the future, and i guess to some extent that's true. i love to make plans, whether they ever come to fruition or not, and at any given moment i can usually tell you with a lot of certainty what the next year, or two, or five, will look like. those plans almost always change, and that doesn't bother me at all. i just like making plans.
julie, on the other hand, is all about the here and now. she sighs a big sigh and a resigned "here we go again" look settles on her face when i want to have a big talk about "how our lives are going" -- usually during long car trips, when she's captive and her only escape is to pop in a book on tape.
and my life has really become much more zen, truth be told. while i'll always be a dreamer, the days of wishing the here and now away are long gone, hopefully never to return. those would be the days of wishing i could be home full-time with trixie, despising my life as an associate at a big bad law firm, trying to get pregnant, waiting to miscarry, hoping for an adoption placement.... oh, yes, much more zen these days.
in fact, my latest big plan -- to have a third child -- is precisely because i love my life right now so much that i'm not at all ready to move on to the next phase. i love the "quotidian mystery" of it all (to borrow a phrase from kathleen norris -- and here, if i knew how, i would link you to several books by one of my favorite authors, including "dakota: a spiritual geography" and "amazing grace: a vocabulary of faith") -- the relentlessness of the laundry, the house that's never quite clean, the shepherding of kids here and there, the playgrounds, the zoo, the coffeeshops, the playdates ... and while i often feel i need to jettison some of my volunteer work, probably the relentlessness of the laundry and the picking up and the meal preparation and the shopping and the "gentle hands, micah!" would all be a little less charming without the la leche league meetings, and the helpline phone calls, and the two boards i sit on (church and trixie's school), and the church school that i run. it's a rich, full life, and i love it.
when i look forward, i get excited too -- i have plans to become a board certified lactation consultant, and i have dreams to work with underserved nursing mothers, especially in the african-american and adoption communities. sometimes i imagine combining that with a small law practice, doing adoptions and estate planning for new families, especially gay and lesbian ones. i'm also interested in post-partum and post-placement doula work. it would be sort of "one stop shopping" for the new family -- a multi-faceted job that might actually keep my interest and speak to all my passions. a "wide tent" if you will. it's all very exciting. dreaming and planning for that career kept my mind occupied during long runs when i was training for a marathon a year ago (finished in 5.5 hours!), and it still gets my blood racing when i make connections with folks who have similar interests and who might one day be interested in pursuing some of these things with me.
but the thing is, i'm just not ready yet. i thought i was. micah is two and a half, and next fall he will start preschool three or four mornings a week. two years after that, he will start kindergarten. so if i'm going to set this career in motion, the time is soon. yet all i want to do is hang on to this good good life i worked so hard to get for a couple more years. i always thought i'd have a big family, but infertility got us off track for awhile. a third kid now doesn't make much sense -- we both just turned 40, we waited a year for micah and it could take longer the second time around, it sets us back financially ... not to mention the sleepless nights, the dinners and dates and travel postponed. the only rational thing i have on the "pro" side of that con list is 1) i think it would be great for micah to have a younger sibling and 2) it would be especially great to have another black, adopted child in our family. but of course, micah will be fine without a younger black sibling, and when it comes right down to it, i just want another baby. for no good reason other than i do.
julie, on the other hand, feels like she just got some semblance of a normal life back. and she's right, the first few years with micah were quite intense. mostly because he's an incredibly spirited little boy who was passionately attached to his mamamarta for quite a long while, if i do say so myself. it was really perfect for me, we really filled each other's needs perfectly, but looking back on it, i'm not sure if the intensity of our attachment was so great for the rest of the family. i love watching now the quality of his relationship as it blossoms with julie, and the quiet space we're both able to carve out for trixie more and more, not to mention each other -- and i do undestand why she would like to just live in this moment, without contemplating a third child for awhile.
so we'll see. julie and i have always had a great process for making decisions without "winners" and "losers" -- a coming to consensus that ultimately meets everyone's needs. i have no doubt that we will do it again in this instance. and in the meantime, i'm resisting the temptation to shout from the rooftops "we're having another baby!" and instead be a little zen in my dreaming.