Friday, March 17, 2006

I Want What We Want

My wife asked me last night if I want us to have a baby. I told her I want what she wants. She didn’t like that answer. She wanted to know what I want. I told her that if she wants a baby, I want one too because her happiness is my happiness. This still didn’t satisfy her, and she concluded that I don’t want a baby. She’s certainly right that if I considered only myself, I wouldn’t want one. I’ll turn 53 next week. I’m learning disabled--more profoundly than anyone but I can possibly appreciate. I have no job or decent job prospects. When I finally do find work and come home from a long day at the office, I’d rather come home to a quiet sanctuary and relax with my wife, work on my book, and watch a little TV than tend to a child and worry constantly about how we’re going to support and raise one properly in this mad, mad world.

Yet, when I married my wife, I became more than just me. I’m still me and she is still she, but we are now also a “we” who do things as a couple, a single unit. We live for each other, make sacrifices for each other, and obtain happiness from each other. When she asks what I want, in a very significant sense, it comes back to what she wants, because her wants are our wants. Yet, we could turn that around and say that my wants are also her wants and our wants, and if I don’t want a baby, then neither does she. Yet she still does when she takes only her own desires into account. And I still don’t when I take only mine into account. And I could get a headache if I keep thinking like this and trying to figure out the perfect answer to a question that doesn’t seem to have one.

I don’t know what more to tell her. So I guess I won’t tell her anything unless she asks. I should just do what needs to be done to give her and, therefore, us another chance at happiness. And if that means going through another miscarriage after weeks of “morning sickness” or coming home from work to a nursery instead of a sanctuary someday, that is what I will do for our sake and happiness. And then I will still be I, but I will also be we, and we will be three (at least I hope it’s three and not more). And we will do the best we can.

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