Every place I've gone in the past week has been overflowing with visibly pregnant women. Nearly all of them seem to have a child Westley's age or younger. And while I want to believe there is no one right way to have a family, I cannot help but feel like I'm getting something wrong.
My stock answer when people would ask about Rob and my having another child used to be, "We want Westley to have turned three already when his sibling arrives." (Or sometimes, depending on the rudeness of the person asking, "That's something my husband and I will discuss privately.") My ideal was children spaced about 3 1/2 years apart. They would still be close enough in age to be good playmates and would get to go to school together, but Westley would be able to do a few things for himself by the time there was a baby in the house. It seemed like a lovely plan.
But I didn't get pregnant. (Stupid me, thinking that because I got pregnant with Westley right away, it would be just as easy the second time around.) And then I did, but I didn't stay pregnant.
There's the saying that goes, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans." But I can't think of that saying—especially now—without also thinking of Bethany in the movie Dogma: "What about my plans? You know? I had planned to have a family, with my husband. Wasn't that plan good enough for God? Apparently not."
I know families come in all sizes and arrangements, with all kinds of age gaps. I know people who swear by having two children as close in age as possible, and I also know siblings spaced six years apart who are the best of friends. I'm sure that if Rob and I do have another child, there will come a point where I couldn't imagine doing it any other way. But I guess I didn't realize just how invested I was in my idea of the perfect sibling age gap until I started seeing it all over the place.