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Elissa

Love these photographs--Felicity is gorgeous and I love how they capture her spirit and your special relationship with her. And I relate so much to what you-re saying (we've got 2 and are almost certainly done), but I can't seem to let go and stop worrying . . .

Ris

Oh honey, if it makes you feel any better I've been finding grey hairs since high school (although I have very dark hair so they really stand out). I just yank those suckers and get on with my day, although I realize at some point this method of coping won't work anymore...or I'll just end up bald.

Swistle

I think our parents ARE middle-aged, and that we really AREN'T. The term doesn't seem to be used to describe the literal middle.

Elizabeth

I have two kids and I still fret about this. I didn't give them a sibling of their same gender!? How will they survive?!? And then the thing I always have to remind myself is that they will have FRIENDS. Wonderful, life long, amazing there for you when you lose a parent just like a sibling friends, and sometimes I even think the family that you choose because maybe you didn't have seven siblings is even better than the family you were saddled with. And I feel reassured. But I do have to remind myself of this an awful lot, which is just to say, yes, I understand these frets and their particular line of worry particularly well.

Maggie

I'm sure I've commented about this here before, and if so, sorry if I'm repeating but I feel like I have to represent. I'm 43 and an only child and I never resented my parents for it. I know they did it mainly due to a recognized inability to handle more than one child for a variety of reasons. Aside from a brief period during my teens when I wished I had a sibling so my parents could pay attention to someone else for awhile so I could do all of the things they forbade without them noticing, I've never been unhappy with being an only. I will add that I grew up in a neighborhood with tons of kids so there was always someone to play with and my parents almost always let me bring a friend on vacation or when we did things, so it was like I got to choose my siblings and then they went home ;-)

I'm not at an age yet (thankfully) when I have to take care of my parents. Doing that alone might be more difficult, but then again maybe not. I won't have to argue with siblings about what we think is best, etc. And my husband is really supportive. So who knows. But really up to this point in my life, I've been very happy being any only.

Jesabes

I like Swistle's idea about middle age.

And that last picture of Felicity is so gorgeous it took my breath away.

Marisa Cohen

Hi,
I am an only child who is 37 years old...almost with a birthday in May. I have 3 kids, ages 7,5 and 2 almost 3. I am struggling with daily thoughts about if I should have another child with the realization time is finite and soon it won't be an option. I am an attorney too and work part time but have the possibility of real career advancement that would be derailed with another baby. I just don't know and I want to know. I was so sure I wanted number 3, number 4 is more of a nagging doubt. I wish I knew. I really liked this post. Your writing speaks to me.

A.

I'm an only child (I have half siblings who are much older) and it never really bothered me growing up to be the only one. However, now in my 30s, I have had to deal with the illness and death of my mother and I can say that I really would've liked someone around to help me during that time - especially with my dad.

I completely agree with Elizabeth (beautifully stated), because I have two of the very BFFs who are like my sisters, and yes probably better even, and whom I couldn't do life without. But when it came to the personal/family issues of caring for my mother, etc., I missed having the go-to sibling.

My husband is also an only child and both of us agreed that in the end, we want our son to have someone to share life with, even if they may not always get along or be close. But we also know we're done at two.

Besides Elizabeth's friendship point, I have read the saying, "Sons leave and take a wife, while daughters are daughters for life," and with Felicity, I just feel like she's going to be the best daughter to you through all of your gray hairs and wrinkles. :)

P.S. And as I'm 7 weeks away from No. 2, I can say I completely agree with your "grief-stricken" sentiment about losing time with my boy who's already here. I tell myself over and over that the heart grows and people do this all the time, but I still feel like I'm betraying him in some way. Ah, motherhood!

ter

This is my first time to comment on your blog (I think!), but I thought I'd throw in my two cents, since I shared some of your same fears before deciding to add to our family.

In my experience, although it is hard to imagine, your heart would grow to love a new baby just as much as the first. I had the same thoughts of feeling like I was cheating my first child before my second (and third!) were born. And, yes, my dedicated one-on-one time with the first was curtailed a bit, but my firstborn gained a whole other person to love and fill his life (and vice versa for the younger and and an older sibling).

With that being said, I think any decision you make will work out and be "right" for your family. I try to remind myself of this, as well, because sometimes I feel that I am so busy daydreaming and worrying over what is right for me and my family, career, etc. that I am missing out on the right now.

JudithNYC

Imagine reading that same article and finding out 37 is middle-aged. Imagine then that your kids turn 40 in four months. Then imagine just staring at your computer screen for a loooooooooong time realizing that if your kids are middle-aged you are old/elderly/senior. It might or might not have happened to me, I'm not saying.

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