“We should have stopped at three.”
I stood motionless. Awestruck at what this mother had just admitted, so honestly, to me.
It was the exact opposite of what I wanted to hear when I asked the question, “What’s it like to have four?”
But like spinach stuck in teeth, there it was.
The ugly truth.
I wanted to hear how much better it was to have an even number of children; how life seemed incomplete until the fourth arrived.
I wasn’t seeking her truth- I was seeking validation for my relentless desire.
Until I had my fourth.
After which, I understood how much easier it is to reflect and regret, instead of look forward and wonder.
This mother wasn’t a monster. Of course, she loved her fourth, she explained. But life with three was busy enough. Four felt unsustainable.
Horrified then, I now feel gratitude for her veracity.