our golden age.

Confession: three weeks ago the kids and I begged Brent for another baby.

Sarah promised the baby could sleep in her room whether it was a boy or a girl. Ephraim suggested we name him/her Scout. And I made a pretty solid case that having a third kid would actually be easy because I have these two great helpers already.

But then I came to my senses and realized that what I really want is to prolong this time in our lives. And I know that adding another child to our already crazy family won’t do that. Sure, it would prolong the pitter patter of little feet in the hall and ponytails and super hero underwear and sweetness beyond measure, but it would also multiply the chaos. And let’s face it, that’s not the kind of mathematics this family needs. I have a tendency in my life to want MORE! MORE! MORE! of the good stuff. Not as it relates to actual “stuff” (most of the time) but specifically experiences and life changes. More friends! More houses! More traveling! More karaoke! More babies! I have a hard time knowing when enough is enough.

But as hard as it is to say, I think this is enough.

Two happy, healthy kiddos who I get to have under my room for a good 10+ years? That will be enough.

Right?

Please someone tell me it will be.

I think I just know that we’re in the golden age of childhood and I want to hang onto it with everything I’ve got. I want to savor this age when kisses from your sister are welcomed. When double french braids and a zillion colored pony tail holders are essential. When teeth are snaggled and cheeks are still the faintest bit chubby. When foreheads are kissably soft, without a trace of that dreadful, looming acne to be found.

I want to hold fast to these days when I still have at least one child that I can prop onto my hip if the mood strikes. Where chapped lips and windblown cheeks are just a minor nuisance and a fair trade for an afternoon playing football/soccer/scooter in the yard. When Santa Claus is alive as you and me, and magic even more so.

I’m grasping at straws to preserve these days where the S-word, F-word and D-word are very different from the ones grown ups use. And it’s still okay to talk about hurt feelings and boo boos of every sort, and the cure for what ails you is always a snuggle. Where every day is a learning day and Daddy and I are still experts on everything. I want to bottle this up and save it for every rainy day that is sure to come for the rest of my life.

I know in my heart that having another baby won’t do that for me.

But you have to admit, Scout is a really great name.

AmyJJanuary 3, 2013 - 2:36 pm

I could not have said it better. Thank you. Thank God our friends have beautiful little babies we can snuggle πŸ™‚

Aunt LuJanuary 3, 2013 - 2:37 pm

I’m lovin the name Scout for girl or boy!

LeahJanuary 3, 2013 - 2:37 pm

Go for THREE!!! I LOVE having 3 girls. The first two are 21 months apart and then my 3rd is four years younger! I absolutely LOVE it! The older two are a big help and I have enjoyed this “baby” so much. (She just turned 4 at Christmas)

JessicaJanuary 3, 2013 - 2:41 pm

Thank you for this. I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, but have never commented until now.

I’ve had that pang of baby envy too recently and actually started convincing myself it might be a good idea. However, my life just isn’t really suited for another baby (I have a 2 year old and a 7 year old) right now. I just – my youngest is growing so quickly and I can’t seem to control it. I just wish I could make time stand still and maybe another baby was one way to come close to that. I do snap back to reality when I realize that I am looking forward to the days of being a parent to older children where I can come and go as I please once again and make it through the grocery store without opening a box of fruit snacks. A baby would only delay those days and that would be a shame. Thanks for your honesty, I needed that today.

LacyJanuary 3, 2013 - 2:58 pm

I just happen to be in possession of a pretty cute little 10lb bundle that needs some snuggling! Her name’s not Scout – but she’s pretty darn cute! You can borrow her anytime!

SharonJanuary 3, 2013 - 2:59 pm

No joke… #3 is amazing! I was so calm, confident and relaxed as a mom! I was SO bummed when Jane started sleeping through the night! It was my sweet special time with her. With the first… you are worried about SO much! And with the second you are still worried about how the first will be… you are more relaxed about having a new baby, but you still kinda fret about how this new baby will change things for your first born. But, with the third baby…. You know the beauty of giving your older ones a sibling and how that grows all the love in your family and you just sit back, relax and REALLY enjoy the beauty of siblings! I’m not saying everyone should have a million kids like me (read 5), but 3 is magical!

Stephanie @ La Dolce VitaJanuary 3, 2013 - 3:14 pm

Those kiddos sure are getting big. So cute too! But I know that it’s true it is bittersweet for a mama’s heart – sweet to see them grow and learn, and so hard to leave that sweet innocence behind. And as sweet as a new addition could be, you’ve got to realize – you’ve got one of each, and with a third, you’re outnumbered. πŸ™‚ Enjoy your sweet babies! Every age has it’s own joy. A very Happy and Healthy New Year to all the Cobbs!

Anna ClaireJanuary 3, 2013 - 3:22 pm

This is so sweet. And I’m so looking forward to those days because I’m wading through the terrible twos and infancy right now – the sweet days sometimes seem really far away!
Somebody recently told me I should go for three because it actually was much easier than just two. Which would almost have to be true, because two right now seems like a LOT of kids. πŸ˜‰

MeganJanuary 3, 2013 - 3:42 pm

Beautiful! I was feeling exactly like this a year ago (although we had 3 and it was an internal dialogue about #4). Life was so sweetl…even pretty easy with a 3, 6, and 8 year old. In February we found out I was pregnant–surprise! But as I sit here holding my sweet 3 month old, I am so thankful that God blessed us again with another precious baby. I cannot even imagine life without him, and the love and life in our home has multiplied so much with this little guy’s arrival. The big kids are such great helpers and are so crazy about him. Your family is wonderful the way it is, and it sure would be wonderful with one more!

JenniferJanuary 3, 2013 - 4:08 pm

Those pictures make my heart melt. πŸ™‚

HeatherJanuary 3, 2013 - 4:40 pm

So, here’s what I know for me. I had one baby, a SarahBear now 7 years old. Thought I was done. But there was an ache. A little ache that never went away. It would get buried in a busy day, but never go away. Then, unexpectedly but not prevented, I had another child two years ago. FIVE YEARS apart. A little boy. And I can tell you, I am satisfied. Completely and utterly satisfied. Ache gone! Now I know for me that came with two. But for others it is with three, four, six… the point is, I believe that the ache.. if it doesn’t go away might be more than just a “want” but a “purpose”. With all that said… I know you will do what is right for YOU. We are all here giving your thoughts, but not a one of us will be anything but happy for the choice you make for you. Scout is a pretty cool name, though. πŸ˜‰

Oh.. and you are never “ready” πŸ™‚ Those cute little buggers just somehow fit right into the existing chaos/harmony. :)But you know that.

Lorena MoraJanuary 3, 2013 - 5:28 pm

I know how you feel. My 2 are 5 years apart, and next month Mady turns 10 and then in March Tristan turns 5 and let me tell you I have gone to bed crying one too many times. It goes by so fast. I wish it would slow down.

The photos of your two are beautiful!

NatalieJanuary 3, 2013 - 7:17 pm

Give me about 4 weeks and you’ll have a new baby in the neighborhood. You can even call it Scout.

kateJanuary 3, 2013 - 7:47 pm

You speak my sentiments exactly! Now that my kids are 3 and 6 I so miss the baby days and wish they weren’t over…but then I realize that adding another baby to my family would not do anything but add to our chaotic life that I am constantly trying to wrangle. And then that baby would grow up too and unless I was Michelle Duggar the cycle would have to end someday.

AnonJanuary 3, 2013 - 8:08 pm

We too were done. We had two energetic, busy boys. I felt that pang that never went away. We now have two boys (9 and 6.5) and a beautiful 5 month old baby girl. I will admit it was sooooo hard at first. We were long done with the baby days but every time my boys ooooh and ahhhhh over their sissy, I melt. I am so glad that pang never went away. I knew I would always regret if we didn’t “try” but would never regret another wonderful child.

LaraJanuary 3, 2013 - 8:14 pm

Yep, I think that about sums it up. My heart aches knowing that Molly can’t stay this little forever, but also knowing that, at 37, I can’t possibly have enough babies to ever satisfy my yearning for a lifetime of chubby cheeks and dimpled fingers. That’s the trouble with having kids–they won’t stay “kids” forever. :-/

RhondaJanuary 3, 2013 - 8:24 pm

Honestly? My girls are 8 and 10, with puberty hitting the oldest….and I love, love this stage of our life. Just like I loved the baby stage, and the toddler stage, and the preschool stage…well, you get the idea. No one but you and your husband can determine if you are happy with “just” two…but I can tell you from experience, that if you are enjoying this phase….you probably will enjoy the others as well….

ShannonJanuary 3, 2013 - 8:55 pm

Erin – I love the picture of Sarah laying on the porch swing – just stunning! My kids are similar ages to yours and you captured the sentiment I feel right now just perfectly. If only we could freeze time!

JulieJanuary 4, 2013 - 9:39 am

I’m so with you, my three girls are 9,8 and 7 and I’m missing the toddler stage and pretty much everything else too but you have completely said it in the right way. We are lucky to have these wonderful children in our lives and should appreciate them right now. My family have decided that its time to move forward from now and even though I have pangs for another little one I’m going to enjoy every minute as much as I can. Thanks for this post xxxx

Jessica WJanuary 4, 2013 - 12:08 pm

I have been feeling much the same lately…less the wanting a baby, but with the same intensity of holding onto these few precious ‘little kid’ years we have left.

LinneaJanuary 4, 2013 - 3:13 pm

Thank you so much for writing this. My husband and I go back and forth and back and forth about having a third. Our kids are 2.5 and 5 now. Our second was a real challenge and we almost lost her at one point, so I know fear is part of what is holding us back. But I also wish society (or my circle) would seem ok with the fact that we might just have 2 kids. It seems everyone is wanting us to have a third. Why can’t it be ok to just have two? I LOVE LOVE LOVE having my boy and my girl. But yet I don’t feel at peace. Its almost like when a friend gets married or someone is off to college for the first time. I get jealous for them and want to go back, yet I can’t.

CarolJanuary 4, 2013 - 8:33 pm

As I read this post it takes me back quite a few years ago when I had my twins, Sara was 3 1/2 and I had no idea how I was going to take care of all these kids. Well fast forward 12 years later and we all survived (with alot of bumps and bruises). Now as Sara is in her Junior year of high school I am getting a little (ok alot) nervous about her going off to college and the twins will not be far behind. I don’t think it is ever “enough” because when they get to the age of making it on their own we wonder where the years have gone, and then we look back at the wonderful memories of their childhood and all the magic we shared with them during the early years.

chesleyJanuary 5, 2013 - 7:35 am

i so could’ve written this post! we talk about #3 all of the time, but I’m SO scared to bite the bullet because I feel like chaos would ensue around here! We’re at the now or never stage, and I really feel like you do..I just see the stage we’re in coming to an end..sending Claire to school in August, and trying to prolong it! Decisions are so hard!

HeatherJanuary 6, 2013 - 2:21 am

Have more! I have 4 and I love it! I love coming home to 4 sweet little people, I love our house always full of crafts and adventure, you may regret not having more but you will never regret having more!

AmyJanuary 6, 2013 - 9:16 pm

Wow! Rich and I just had the same conversation about a third a few days ago. And one of my thoughts was, “we’ll get voted out of IoP!” So when I read your first paragraph a little part of me gasped and thought, “or maybe we won’t!” with relief that maybe we wouldn’t be the only ones! But, it’s already moot because yesterday I decided that I think we’re a pretty great little family of 4. And I was left wondering why I was having a hankering for a third at all. . . but you put my own thoughts into the words I couldn’t even for myself. Seriously!

I smile every single moment at my kids at this age (well, maybe not every single moment!) and I do think it’s a Golden Age. But I also think there are so many amazing things to come that we just don’t have any idea about til we get there. As Hayden has aged I’ve kept thinking, “this is the best age yet!” So, while I’ll be sad when we’ve outgrown lots of these golden days, I’m optimistic that we’ll have new, unexpected and delightful golden days to come!

LynneJanuary 7, 2013 - 6:07 am

I had baby #3 not because of baby envy, but because I KNEW that someone was missing from our family! And, he was. Our #3 has been a joy for everyone. After talking my husband into #3 (which was pretty easy, really), he wanted a #4! Then, I was too old and WAY too tired. Only 3 for me, and I feel totally complete. Never a regret.

nickiJanuary 7, 2013 - 7:33 am

Scout Cobb…that does sound really good! πŸ™‚

StefanieJanuary 7, 2013 - 8:32 pm

Oh, a timely post πŸ™‚ Currently discussing if we are “done” … if I were a few years younger, I would definitely want to try for #4, but I’m feeling old and tired lately. Asher really wants a “big brother” to have bunk beds with. Just not sure how to make that happen! Great post.

MJJanuary 7, 2013 - 9:49 pm

I am 60 years old and ever since my baby (now 30) grew up I have missed those days with little ones at home. I now have grandchildren who are growing up even faster than mine did. Sniff, sniff πŸ™

ChristinaJanuary 14, 2013 - 10:58 am

Children are a blessing from the Lord. πŸ™‚ I don’t think he ever said “the less, the better.” πŸ˜‰ They are beautiful!

ten on tuesday. » The PigBearFebruary 19, 2013 - 9:47 pm

[…] 7. I ran across two interesting radio features on NPR this morning. The first focused on the question of whether or not having children makes you happier. You might surprised by the answer. Although I was not surprised at all by the fact that parents of children between the ages of 5 and 12 report feeling happier than parents of children younger than 5 or children of teenagers. I told you we were in our golden age. Sorry, Scout. But I just can’t go back. […]

[…] family is fairly well settled on our two sweet kiddos, even though I occasionally get a twinge for a third. So we went and did the next best thing. We somehow endeared ourselves well enough to a couple of […]

Summer. And Camp. » The PigBearJuly 28, 2013 - 5:27 pm

[…] not this year. As I’ve said before, I can sense we’re in ourΒ Golden Age and enjoying Summer is apparently one of the side effects. Can I get a […]

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