While sitting in the doctor’s office the other day, an older lady struck up a conversation about having children. Her opinion was that families need to have three kids. I was in agreement until she began to explain her reasoning. She felt that having three kids was great because if you lose one, you’d still have two remaining. But if you only have two children and lose one, you only have one child left.
Obviously this is the opinion of someone who has had many years on this planet. She was clearly in her eighties. Years of loss. Memories of families that have been through pain. She continued to speak of losing her sister at a young age. But still had a brother remaining.
She spoke of having three kids as a normal way of life for those around her when she was young. As if most families did that. “Better have a third kid, you know, just in case.” Because, eighty years ago, there was a high occurrence of child death?
I’m half this lady’s age. When I was a child most of my friends had one sibling. Or came from a large family. Blended families also began to appear more frequently. But rarely did something tragic occur that caused the loss of life. Even into my adulthood I only know of a couple of instances where someone lost a child. Tragic and sad, but no need to prepare for the worst and have a back up.
Although it got me thinking- what if you lose your favorite child? Each one of our children is unique and wonderful. We love each of them immensely. But… there are favorites. I have one- but I won’t tell you which one. And I know my wife has one- but she will swear that she loves each of our kids equally. I would never wish death on anyone, let alone my own kids.
It’s still strange to me to think that there are people having kids as “back-ups.” You know, in case Plan A and Plan B fall through.