Long before we decided to have Reina, Savvy and I knew quite a lot about raising children. When Savvy was still in elementary school, she got tasked with looking after her nephew during nights and on weekends. As she matured in middle school, she attended parent-teacher conferences, took him to medical and dental appointments, and helped him with his schoolwork. It was a less than ideal youth for Savvy, but she never shirked from the responsibility.
As a university student, I had three nieces to help out with on the weekend or occasional night when my oldest brother had a business trip or just needed an extra hand. Though Savvy’s early parenting experience was more “baptism by fire,” mine was largely vicarious and worry-free. Yet for each of us, assisting in the development of our nieces and nephews instilled some thoughts about what we wanted to accomplish as parents, or at least what we wanted to avoid.
We waited years before having a baby. We married young and felt no rush to have children; so much of the world needed exploring first. After years of traveling and new experiences, we finally plunged into the greatest human adventure – introducing a new life to the world. So after months and months of consultation, planning, and waffling (not to mention endless prodding from Reina for a baby sister), Savvy and I decided to have another baby. We did warn Reina that just because she wished for a little sister did not mean that she wouldn’t get a baby brother instead.
Naturally, friends and family were thrilled by the news, but sometimes Savvy and I exchange those knowing looks that say, “Are we really doing this? We’re no spring chickens.” True, I’m not ready to be placed out to pasture, but I’m keenly aware that having kids in your twenties or even thirties leaves you with a little more fuel in the tank to chase after the ankle-biters.
Nonetheless, by waiting a bit longer to complete our family, I like to think that we are more self-aware, patient, and prepared than we would have been back in our twenties (that’s the mantra I keep repeating). And if all else fails, at least we can afford to hire a little extra help so that the baby won’t be playing with dust bunnies because Baba passed out while trying to sweep the floor after another sleepless night.
Thus we stand at the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. We have less than six months to go before the arrival of a new child in our home. There are countless things to do, decisions to make, and a few extra items to buy, but mostly we are just enjoying the relative quiet in our home and wondering what our latest adventure will look like – aside from debating which one of us will be changing diapers again. That part we wouldn’t mind skipping. Perhaps I can arrange for that to be one of Reina’s chores. After all, she asked for it.