This is both kids, a few months ago at Disney. They were born long before digital pictures, and I don’t have a scanner, so all I can do on the computer is deal with the relative present. Which is probably just as well.
I was living far from home, had bought a house, and had a second child when I was 26. I am an only child, and I’ve always hated it. It was important to me that Erika have a sibling. I tease her that she asked for a baby brother. She didn’t really. I had wanted a girl so badly, I was sure Erika would be a boy. That’s part of what I want to touch on in the part of my story and for all of my life. I tend to think that if I really want it, I won’t get it, and can’t have it.
I did get my girl, though, at the age of 23. To give her a sibling was an awesome dream of mine. I became pregnant very easily. That’s interesting, too, because infertility runs strongly through my family. Again, I thought, if I really want it, I won’t be able to have it.
When I was pregnant the second time, I was completely and totally in the girl mode. Really I couldn’t imagine having another child, but if I could imagine it, I could only imagine another girl. When Erika was a tiny baby, I was convinced something terrible would happen to her, the way I was convinced my plane would always crash. I just couldn’t picture having a five-year-old daughter, happy and healthy and going to kindergarten.
These thoughts did not dominate my thoughts at all. In fact, I rarely thought them. But when I did think about it, the feeling of impending doom, so frequent when I drank, had not left me completely.
So the baby was conceived. A few months after that, my ex lost his job, the job we had moved so far away for. The job we had bought a house counting on. For my second pregnancy, a second job loss. And all the fear and bad things that go with it. And a house, far, far from where I wanted to be.