When I started getting serious with my boyfriend (who would eventually become my husband) in college, we had a little glitch in our relationship about the future. We were sitting in his Pontiac Bonneville in the underground parking beneath my apartment building, arguing about having kids. We weren't even close to being married but I guess we thought we should probably figure out if we have the same goals in mind before continuing on. I explained that I didn't really want any children. I wanted to do the career thing.
This was a completely unsatisfactory answer. He wanted them; wouldn't mind four. And I can't honestly say that I didn't, but fighting with him was one of the things that made us tick. I was sometimes argumentative for argument's sake.
I don't remember how this all played out; I succumbed eventually. My several years of work had been a disappointment and finally, we were married.
I've dabbled with "professional" work since, working part-time editing, writing, even working full-time editing when Eric lost his job for a while back in 2004. But the truth was, I wanted to be home. I, who didn't even think I wanted children, chose to be home with my kids.
The other night at my book club, we were talking about what the one thing we loved most about being home with our kids (and of course we covered the thing we hate most as well) but the more I thought about my answer, the more I've been enjoying my mornings with Portia drinking hot cocoa.
A typical morning for me starts at 7 a.m. when Bianca sidles into my room to tell me it's time to get ready for school. I stumble through the dark house and eventually turn on a light three rooms away (I hate light in the mornings) so that I can get Bianca's breakfast and pack up her lunch. That's when the whirlwind begins--there's spelling words, brushing teeth, fixing hair, finding socks and socks, piano practice, packing up the backpack. Somewhere in the middle of all that, Portia usually screams from her crib "Hot cocoa." Bianca and Eric hurdle out into the car and leave for work/school. That's when I sigh and start the cocomotion.
I know I started Portia early on hot cocoa, but until now I've never known anyone who loves hot cocoa as much as I do. Extra chocolately. With whipped cream. Portia has her own porcelain tea cup that she handles carefully. And we sit. And she asks for "More hot cocoa." And I get her more. And I drink my hot cocoa. And I love that I got everything done for Bianca that she needed this morning. And I love that I have this time to myself and to Portia. And I really do love being a stay-at-home mom.