My husband got the pre-packaged family. When he got me, he got two kids – under the age of five. To his credit, he always treated them like his own. To the point where he's gotten very jealous when they had to go to their biological dad's on weekends… or, in more recent times, he had to see the 'other family' at the kids' weddings. To be honest, the kids have loved him like a dad, too, and have even told me that when they hear the word 'dad', that Hubs is the person they think of.
When we got together, adding to the family was discussed. Hubs' dad was an only child and was the last of the family line. At that point, his sister was married and had a boy child, but had given him the family name as a middle name (does that really count? I don't think so.I think that's just making you feel better) His brother had no serious prospects on the horizon, so who knew if he would ever produce offspring (as we know, he did end up with two boys – goody goody). So in talking about expansion, I gave told him he could have three shots at a boy. Thank goodness he got it in two!
As I look back and as I've stated many times before, I made tons of mistakes. I always say kids don't come with manuals (no, Dr. Spock does NOT count). Most people do the best they can with the knowledge of how they were treated. You either set your mind that you won't make the same mistakes, or, if you were lucky enough to have a wonderful childhood, you try and figure out how you can do it exactly the same. But it is impossible. Every child is different. One thing I could never get over was how different my children were. Out of four kids you'd think at least two would be alike. All four looked different, acted different, and had to be dealt with differently. Strangely enough, they are more alike as adults – even looking more alike – than they ever were as kids.
I am really proud of my kids. I love them deep into my soul. Each of them has a special place, none more than the other. Despite me… they turned out to be really terrific people. My eldest, the only one so far with children, is such a good mom. Her son is a fantastic kid. Yet? I'm not one of these people who feel that urge to have grandchildren. I love my grandson to bits. But to say I need more? No. If any of the others decide to have children, I'm sure I'll love them to pieces too… but you will never catch me pressuring anyone to have kids. Not everyone wants them and that is just fine with me. I feel for the women who want them desperately and can't have them… and the ones who go through IVF and other procedures because they want them so badly. At times I feel guilty because it was so easy for me… almost too easy. When we started 'trying' to have children it didn't take for a couple of months and there were disappointments, but a couple of months compared to some women who try for years… a drop in the bucket. (If you get a chance and want to see a beautiful baby love success story, go over and see Helen. I can't think of too many people who are so deserving.)
Strangely enough, I have a hard time with other peoples' children. Yes, I can tolerate the extra noise in a restaurant. No, I don't think you should take your baby and/or underage child to the movies. Yes, I can look at them and think they're cute. No, I can't stop the feeling I'd like to smack them sometimes. I can totally see why some people never want kids. Pets are much easier. Also, you can crate them when their bad. Kids? Um… no.