It was a lovely night. My husband’s 36th birthday.Â We found a brand-new teenaged babysitter who not only lives close by, but seems to be eager to sit for us again AND all three of my children loved her. My mother was in town; my inlaws were joining us. I ate a burger the size of a small baby that was topped with, among other things, a giant onion ring. We listened to the Ricky Gervais podcast in the car on the way home. Everything was aces until we walked in the door and my mom says, “Where is my purse?”
And I just knew where this was going. I knew we’d be spending the rest of the evening filing police reports in both Toronto and Vaughan. I knew we’d be calling the restaurant. I knew we’d be checking neighboring garbage cans in case somebody grabbed the cash and dumped the rest of the goods, which included important things like my mom’s phone and HER PASSPORT. I knew we’d be googling “How to get into the US without a passport?” I knew I’d be listening to my husband making lost passport jokes. And then making some more.
And then, just as we’d given up. The restaurant called us. They had found my mom’s PASSPORT in the street. Sure, it was covered in some snowy tire tracks, but it was there, and it was missing nothing.
Wednesday night restored my faith in the good of people in our fair city. Even though I hate the weather and snow and having to buy giant parkas and waterproof boots and there are no Targets here. Or any sort of suitable form of online shopping. And my kids won’t learn proper American history. And I have to get on an airplane to visit any of my family members. Even with all of these obvious Toronto flaws…This is my city.
And I’m okay with it.
On Saturday, I spent the day in my green and blue plaid flannel pj pants and a hoodie. I curled up on my couch with a cozy blanket and read Olive Kitteridge from cover to cover. This restored my faith in our decision to, ahem, take some steps to make sure we don’t have any more babies. I will admit it, the idea of not having any more babies was enticing to me. I mean, we have three perfect children who keep me equally poor and busy. So, there it was. I was done. My insides would become a rocky place where no seed would find purchase. But, often when faced with this idea of permanence, you – or at least I – start to think that maybepossiblyperhaps you are making this decision too hastily and maybe you should be making another baby. Just one more. I’m still young. I mean, I’m only 32. I loved being pregnant; I never had to take a single TUMS. I love the way babies smell, I love to smush them. But as I sat with my body nestled into my couch and turned page after page, completely uninterrupted, I thought about how THIS is what I have been waiting for.
Just a few more years, I’d say.
Just a few more years and Emily will be 10 and Josh will be 8 and Isabella will be 5. Five. It’s a magic age. They’ll be able to play on their own. They will possibly play WITH EACH OTHER. They will be able to read, to dress themselves, to wipe their own butts, to pour their own drinks.
Just a few more years and I’ll be able to spend Saturday afternoons on the couch doing something that’s just for me.
We had 3 kids in less than 5 years on purpose. We had 3 kids before I was 28 on purpose. The baby years were hard. We didn’t sleep much, we didn’t sit much, we didn’t go out much. We are there now; we are past the baby years. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the years now are just as challenging. But it’s emotional, not physical.
We are there now. Olive Kitteridge. Pjs. Couch.
We are done.
And I’m okay with it.