From Davison Online, September 15, 2005:
Complicating matters is that Erin and I don’t know how many kids we’re going to have. We’ve been blessed with two thus far, but, God willing, we were always going to have at least two. Elisha’s arrival means we’ve hit that minimum number, and we’ve really got to think carefully about what we want to do going forward. Call it the end of no-brainer sex, if you like. (I do.) We’re not aiming higher than four in any case, but even a change from two to three seems substantial.
In the midst of my parents’ illness last fall and winter and its attendant craziness, we each had thoughts that a third child would be an impossibility. With my driving up to the hospital in Portland all the time and trying to run a business, I abandoned the soccer season midway through (something I’ve never done), more or less stopped blogging except for crucial medical updates, and tried my best to just keep my head above water. It was no easier for Erin who worked a full schedule at school then had to come home and watch the kids without assistance on most nights. It was a nutty time and not in a good way.
Despite all this, I don’t think our kids suffered noticeably in terms of behavior, development, or psychological stability. Under the worst collective health circumstances my family’s ever faced, Jonah and Elisha emerged unscathed. Although we surely hope not to see another year like those 12 months in terms of health problems, I am confident that we can bring kids through it OK if we have to. Admittedly this has been a major concern of mine in terms of having more kids, and success here isn’t something we’ve necessarily been able to gauge until recently. (In other words, until after coming through the experience.)
For us time is the biggest issue when it comes to additional munchkins. We’re OK financially, we believe ourselves (correctly or not) to be getting fairly good at this parenting thing, and we love kids. Once you have two kids like Jonah and Elisha, how can you not want another? Would I like Jonah and Elisha to have another sibling? Absolutely. And I think they would want one too.
I don’t doubt that some people will wonder about overpopulation. As they apply to me, I have never found these arguments persuasive. I absolutely agree that those who cannot afford to have more kids should not and that particularly in countries with underdeveloped resource allocation systems fewer kids rather than more is beneficial. But that is hardly the case here in the macro sense. Like most all of Western Europe, the United States’ birth rate is actually negative (minus legal and illegal immigration). I’m not saying that overpopulation isn’t a problem; I’m saying it’s not a problem here (or in Western Europe).
Breaking the notion of overpopulation down further, I flatter myself that ours will be kids who become productive members of society. The world doesn’t need another X-Box-playing slacker, but we could use more good teachers, scientists, artists, and so forth. Time will tell, but certainly we are intent on raising our kids be to members of that latter set. The world needs more not less of these people.
As I wrote two Septembers ago, the shift from two to three kids seems substantial. US society is mostly setup for a accommodating a four-person family, the evidence being in passenger cars, hotel rooms, housing, restaurants and just about any other thing you think of. But I think we’re capable of handling it and handling it well.
Not to turn mawkish, but occasionally I am overwhelmed by the joy my kids bring me. They are interesting, intelligent, fun, funny, curious, eager, athletic, cuddly, cute, and more things that I can’t even think to name. Several decades ago, I wondered what the fuss about kids was. I couldn’t understand or appreciate them except in abstract. While not everyone should have kids and some who do shouldn’t and some who don’t should, I have no doubt that parenthood was right for me.
Erin and I are thrilled to announce that little baby Davison #3 is on the way.