With the impending arrival of Baby #3 comes a somewhat harsh reality: We are done.
We don’t intend to have any more kids, which evokes a mess of emotions.
- Joy: Three kids! How lucky are we? Watching them grow up healthy and happy will be the greatest joy a parent can have.
- Completion: In football, three-and-out is not a good thing. It means no touchdown. Or even a field goal. But this is more a sense of accomplishment and finality. We reached the end zone. And retired on top.
- Sadness: This is where it gets bittersweet. We will never expect another kid. That’s sad, right?
For nearly six years, we’ve been planning for babies, building our lives around the expectation of children. It’s been six years of fun, adventure, and growth. Six years of transformation, personally and professionally, for both of us.
We started it as ambitious newlyweds, living the sweet city life with our puppy.
We bought a house and left for the suburbs.
Had a girl. Then a boy.
Became mini-van owners. [They are so practical!]
Decided two kids definitely did not bring enough craziness to our lives.
Along the way, we grew our careers significantly, traveled extensively, and lived meaningfully.
And now this phase of life, which has brought me more satisfaction and happiness than any other phase, is just about done forever.
Nine years ago, my grandfather passed away. A form of leukemia he had been fighting for quite some time took him from us. At the time, I was in my mid-20s, getting over a traumatic break-up, and recovering from a wrong-turn in my career.
As I mourned my grandfather, I had a moment of self-reflection that honestly caught me off-guard.
I felt like, with the loss, I had moved up a rung on the “mortality ladder,” one step closer to the end. With my grandfather gone, the lineage was my dad, then me. It was a strange notion, especially since I still had two living grandmothers. But, for some reason, the loss of a grandfather struck a chord with me. It was a clear marker that my future was getting shorter and my past was getting longer.
I drove my grandmother home from a family dinner a few days after the funeral and she told me, “It just went by so fast.” Talking about her life with my grandfather.
Single, confused, mourning…it scared the shit out of me.
An innocently ignorant phase of my life was over. Forever. And I knew I had to live differently. Taking advantage of every opportunity, because they may be in limited supply.
The clock was ticking and wasn’t stopping.
A few weeks later, I met the woman that would be my wife and the mother of my children. Not long after that, I re-imagined my career.
One phase ended, paving the way for something different. And better.
That “better” phase is about to end. I’m beyond excited about what’s next…I know that after “better” comes “best.” But I still feeling like I took another step on the mortality ladder. And I’ve got the next generation lined up behind me.
This is the phase that I, like my grandmother before me, will eventually look back on as going “too fast.” It will be a bittersweet beginning to a new chapter.