Today, in what must have been 112 degree heat, we met up with four out of nine of Max's maternal cousins. And their combined 18 children. Ranging in age from 2 to 20, they were amazingly polite, kind, and inclusive, and the kiddo had a hell of a time. He loved the older boys and their kipot (a special hat that practicing Jews wear to some degree) and had so much fun engaging with a large family--his family, but not in a way that he's ever experienced them before.
Every day, I find something to remind me that I'm not meant to have more than one child, and my reaction fluctuates between sadness, self pity, self loathing, anger, rage...you get the idea. My least favorite saying, but oh-so-usable in cases like this: it is what it is. Sigh.
As much as the kiddo brings to me in terms of challenge, fulfillment, pride, and amazement of my own abilities, I can't help but feel that we are missing something big. All at once, a baby, a sibling, a family member, a son or daughter...I don't know. But I definitely do know that cancer robbed me of the right to live a full and lengthy life and I no longer get to imagine things as the might be. Instead, I'm trying as hard as I can to do the best with what I have.
Kind of a different way of looking at life and parenting.