When couples beget their first child, everyone rejoices. Hardly no one ever asks about the necessity of having one. And then when the child has grown a bit, the next typical question that the couple gets (well, at least for Filipinos), is on their plan to have the second one. Then that's when a whole string of discussions begin, especially when the couple expresses hesitation about having another one at all.
"Your only child will grow up spoiled, or lonely. …
"His growth won't be balanced, he will hardly learn a sense of responsibility. …"
"When he's old enough to live on his own, you will start to feel the absence of children, and regret not having had more. …"
Last year, in the middle of a similar discussion, a friend of mine pointed out, "Don't we just feel sorry for the second one because her only reason for being is because of the well-being of others?"
That got me thinking. How else can we honestly account for the coming of a second child without having to attribute it to some self-serving reason?
Truth is when our Bugey was younger, Lakay and I have been agonizing about having a second one. This hyperactive and hyper-cerebral boy already had our hands full. We hardly imagined how it was possible to have another child, and give the same level of attention we have given this one. Any honest parent would ask this question. And any honest parent finds herself turning to all the social reasons ever enumerated for justifying a second child. Which makes me think about all this psychology about middles and youngests -- on feeling inadequate, less secure and having to prove their worth. To some extent, with a social environment that thinks this way, these issues do make sense.
So on with my ruminations. How can we truly value a child's coming to being for its own sake, to view it as an end in itself and not just as a means for something else?
I remember one Friday night, Lakay, the Bugey and I were on the couch laughing and goofing around. Lakay was making fun of Bugey, while my awkward contributions ended up being the butt of jokes. (Hey, I was born a laugh-er, never a comedienne. I can only be funny when I don't intend to!) So there we were--laughing together, if not laughing at one another. And then in that brief quiet moment while all of us were catching our breaths, I got the answer.
Love overflows into being. When an artist loves, it flows into his multiple works. A writer, into his poetry. And with a love a like my family's? Into this new little heartbeat in my womb.
Now, I need not seriously worry about having to divide our love to two kids, because I don't have to. There's more than enough for all of us.
There you go our little angel. Isn't it wonderful to know why you are here. Kuya, Daddy and I are happily waiting for you. We love you and see you soon. :)