Okay, it's time to get really really honest. Cover the kids in kisses and settle them on the couch with a movie. Or give them a few Disney books and ask them to count all the references to death. Or hand them to the nanny, you elitist you!
In other words, they can't be near you or you won't be able to answer this honestly. You'll see their cherubic face or hear their tiny chirping voice or those chubby fingers turning the pages and you will not be able to refrain from shouting in triumph "Behold! My spawn!"...or something.
Anyway, here's the question: Knowing what you know now, would you have kids when you did?
I've mentioned how I was 23 when I got pregnant with Savannah and how given my upbringing I was practically an old maid. And yet...I wonder.
Chris and I had only been married about three months when I expressed to him in the middle of lunch one day my absolute certainty that I was barren. Did I mention I was reading a lot of infertility blogs back then?
Anyway, I insisted that we should go off the pill "immediately" because "it will probably take at least a year because I bet your sperm count is low or slow or I have cysts or adhesions or unexplained infertility. Most likely. I bet".
Chris expressed some hesitation because we lived in a little apartment, hadn't even begun to pay off our wedding which was entirely on credit cards, and our most romantic vacation had been to Las Vegas. Was he right? Yes. Did he win? No.
I was pregnant six weeks later, my imagined infertility cured!
Now, while I was over the moon about being pregnant and all the financial stuff ended up working out delightfully well by the time she was born, there was one thing I failed to take into account.
Hold onto your hats for this revelation: Once you have a baby, you're no longer alone.
I know! I was shocked too!
All the things we loved to do together: hiking, sleeping in, reading the paper, morning sex, finishing conversations, not playing Connect Four. All of it vanished. And we kept saying "Oh, when she's a little older". But, here's another revelation: the older they get, the more THERE they are.
So, as I approach 30 and my husband approaches something in his 40's I can't help but think back to that day in the restaurant, to that conversation between two freshly married and madly in love young people - one pushy, one indulgent - and wonder what was my rush?
Why didn't I give the "couple us" a little more time before we made it a "family us"?
Look at them. They have no idea that they're going to soon be arguing over thorough nipple washing and how best to get explosive newborn diarrhea out of curtains.