21, 2001 - Wednesday
Before Harry was born both his mother and I would have expected we'd have a couple of children. It wasn't a plan so much as it was a mutually shared prediction of sorts. Then Harry came along and became the focus of our lives. He monopolizes our free time, keeps us awake or wakes us up when we'd otherwise prefer not, and has altered our schedules dramatically. Having Harry has been a lot of work and, by all accounts, Harry is a wonderful baby. We can only imagine what it would have been like with a less agreeable boy.
There's no mistaking, of course, that Harry is a delight to have around. He's a constant source of entertainment and marvel. Over the last 14 months I've watched him learn - discovering his body, his surroundings, animals, and now words - and it's all been fascinating, fun, and fulfilling, if, admittedly, at times a little tedious. Yet, our experience has challenged us with the question of whether a sibling would enhance our lives or be an exponential increase in work and distraction, ultimately preventing us from any semblance of the life we once knew. Neither Harry's mother nor I would have expected having an only child, but at some unknown point it became a more palatable option. It's easy to look starry-eyed into the future and see a charming family where everyone gets along, where siblings love and support each other, and where parents sit on the sofa smiling at their darling children happily passing the time. Yet, real life is rarely that simple and siblings don't always get along. They're not always friendly playmates that will distract each other while parents have a breather and they almost inevitably go through periods of significant discontent with one another. On the other hand, experts say that interacting with a sibling is quite valuable, teaching young individuals the interpersonal skills they'll need in society, regardless of the anxiety it may cause the parents when it's not working out. Whatever the ultimate reality for Harry, it seems he's now in line to find out.