Since the very beginning of our relationship, Mr. B and I have agreed — and disagreed — on all sorts of things. One of our biggest points of agreement? We both wanted to have two kids. Not three. Not one. Two. Well … now we find ourselves in an interesting situation. Because we have two kids. But, we also don’t.
So, when we talk about our family and what it will look like in the years to come (or when people ask if we’re going to have more kids), we’re not sure. Frankly, it’s scary — again — to think about being pregnant — again. We both know that in an ideal world, Dottie Lou would have a sibling that she can actually grow up with. But, I can’t say I’ve made up my mind one way or the other.
I do know this: I am one of six kids, and I cannot imagine my life without every single one of them in it. Ask me who my best friends are, and I’ll name each and every one of them. My siblings contributed significantly to the person I am today — and continue to shape me. And each one of them taught me priceless life lessons.
When I was younger, my stoic brother terrified me. But today, he’s the one I call when I need help or advice or just to talk. I still get a little excited when my caller ID shows it’s him — because I know I’m in for either a great story or a good laugh. Clint taught me about responsibility. You don’t quit on your commitments — and you don’t ever, ever quit on your family.
Toni is our free spirit. She lives her life with no excuses, and she lives her life with her whole heart. Toni taught me about being true to myself. You do you, and you do it with all your heart.
Charity is true to her name — she has a kind, warm heart and she shares it with anyone who needs it. Charity taught me about generosity. I often get surprises in the mail from Charity — just when I need them. She opens her home to anyone who needs it and has a lot of “sons” and “daughters” in addition to her own three sons.
Jeremiah is my big, strong brother — who is really a teddy bear (but don’t tell anyone). I can always count on him to give me a bunch of crap and then turn around and give me a big ol’ hug. His hugs are the best — even if he sometimes squeezes just a little too tight. Jeremiah taught me to always take time for fun. Jeremiah works hard — very, very hard. But he also makes sure to take breaks and go on adventures with his family.
Oh boy, what can I say about my Rosebud. She is my true soul sister and very best friend. I’ve learned a lot of lessons from JJ. She has taught me how to take things as they come (“it is what it is”), how to laugh with my whole body and, most recently, JJ taught me how to be brave.
I am who I am because I have these yay-hoos in my corner. They are the loves of my life, and I couldn’t imagine being the person I am without them standing beside me. My siblings are the friends God gave me before I even knew how badly I would need them in my life.
So, when Mr. B and I talk about our family and what it may one day look like, I can’t help but think about my siblings and the true beauty they’ve brought into my world. And, when I get scared about having another baby, I’m reminded that no matter what happens, at least I’ll have these guys in my corner (even if they are giving me crap and poking me in the ribs).
I can’t say for sure whether we will have any more kids. That answer, I believe, is out of my hands. It may already be written in the stars — like so much of our story has been so far. But I can say with certainty that siblings are pretty darn cool. And if Dottie Lou ends up with another one some day, I know he or she will bring all sorts of color and flavor and sparkle into her life.