The One Where I Make a Big Announcement

First let me say that I was as surprised by the ending to this story as you are. It was not exactly expected, but I’m also not sad at how things have turned out.

I called my husband from work a few Saturdays ago to tell him that Spider-Man*** and Captain America were coming to the zoo to sign autographs. Every, single pretend play event like this is a reminder that my boy is growing up. And I grieve.

“He may not be interested,” I said over the phone. My heart said “Please, God, let him want to come.”

“And he might not want to wear a costume,” I added, in the second phone conversation. “Please, God,” my heart cried. “Let him want to wear a costume. Just one more time.”

“And you might want to get here early,” I said, on the third call this time. “Because it gets really busy, and it’s hot, and the heroes might want to take breaks.” And I may never again have a little superhero who dresses up and comes out, ready to fight crime and drink a cherry Slushie.

My heart is hungry for those one more times. One more time to play dress up and pretend. One more time to belly laugh over Snoopy and his silliness. One more time to crawl into my lap and call me “Mommy.” One more time to ask for help tying a boot. One more time to look with wide-eyed innocence at a world too big and too scary.

And I couldn’t take the pain of the one more time. Because what if it never showed up.

On that sunny Saturday, it did. Dressed in his Captain America best, with the cardboard shield his brother and sister had made for him, he trip-trapped up the sidewalk, ready to conquer the world and have his picture taken. He greeted me coolly, and I could see it in his eyes. That one last time is fast approaching, and one time soon will be the last time for both of us because he is the last, the youngest. Why does it feel so unfair?

Here I stand on the precipice of The End,  when it seems like the The Beginnings were only about 10 seconds ago.

I made baby Squish Harry Potter. And I'm not sorry.

I made baby Squish into Harry Potter. And I’m not sorry.


Don't ask. I don't know. He looks like he's having fun, though, doesn't he?

Don’t ask. I don’t know. He looks like he’s having fun, though, doesn’t he?

That shield in an heirloom. And it has seen some action.

That shield in an heirloom. And it has seen some action.

Somehow, this kid went from Baby Harry Potter to playing guitar naked to Captain America with the heirloom shield in about a minute. Kids grow up. I know that. I’ve always known that. But he was my last one, and I wasn’t ready.

I thought I was done. I thought the yearnings for a little one would cease by my age. I’ve said for years that I’m done. No more. I’m ready to not have babies. And I was wrong. My husband didn’t feel quite the same as I, but we talked. And negotiated. And talked some more. And he was reluctant but willing.

So I have an announcement to make. We waited a while before telling everyone, and we haven’t even told all of our family and friends yet, but I have some big news.

We got a kitten.

My kitten summed up in one photo. "Hey! You busy? I'm not in your way, am I?"

Ravenclaw summed up in one photo. “Hey! You busy? I’m not in your way, am I?”

Wait. What did you think I was going to say?

***I just learned how to spell Spider-Man correctly so that Spell-check doesn’t yell. Be happy for me! Or very sad. It has only taken me 44 years.


34 thoughts on “The One Where I Make a Big Announcement

    • Thanks so much for your kind words!

      When we first started talking about adopting a new one, we found an adult cat in addition to kittens in the rescue group where we’ve adopted before. We had the discussion of which one needed us most – the adult cat or the black kittens, because living with kittens is a challenge to say the least. They actually ran a special on black cats and kittens because they are so hard to adopt. We got another black cat from them a year-and-a-half ago, and we chose her because she was older and the rescue founder said they had a hard time adopting them out. I don’t understand it. Black cats are so beautiful!

  1. hehehehe his dress up outfits are brilliant! And remember: if you wish too hard for the dressing up year to continue, he might become an actor and they’ll never end! Ravenclaw is the perfect name for a black kitten, SO CUTE! Good luck becoming more of a cat person!

  2. Felicitations on the new burgeoning of your as-yet-unfinished family!! And re Squish outgrowing his Spider-Man etc. outfits: you never know. Perhaps he’ll be into cosplaying when he grows up!

    [My grandmother supplied all of my dressing-up-like-a-princess needs, when I was a kid. She never showed up without at least half-a-suitcase of random treasures from her white elephant sale-scavenging: rhinestone handbags and faux-fur boas; remnants of gauzy curtains to fasten around my waist like petticoats; costume jewelry galore. When my college roommates and I threw a President’s Day party many years later (“come dressed as your favorite president or first lady!”), my gram sent me another box of what my 19yo self dismissed as just weird junk.

    “Uh, gram? Why did you send me black spandex gloves decorated with GINORMOUS tulle puffs at the wrist??” Her response: “I thought you might want to cut the puffs off — and wear them on your head.”


    I hadn’t realized until just now, reading your post, why she might have felt excited. *sniffs, blinking back a few tears* She really was awesome as a grandma!]

    • Your gram sounds incredible!

      I have seriously hoped that Squish will embrace cos-play. He is very, very unaware of what others around him think, and I am encouraging him not to care if he DOES notice.

  3. My wife and I have not yet been able to have children – and perhaps we never will. While we’ve come to terms with that, certain in our family have not.

    We, too, have a cat.

  4. It is true the current “one more times” will someday come to an end. However, there lies ahead plenty of uncharted territory that, while different, will provide their own unique pleasures.

    And it always pleases me when black cats get adopted. Poor things have an undeserved bad reputation.

    • I agree. I do feel blessed that I have more times of really looking forward to the future (oh, please, kid, grow up already!) than looking back.

      I adore black cats, but we picked this one specifically because they are so much harder to adopt. I just don’t get that!

      • Our black cat, who we think is 8 years old, has the fascinating ability of not being able to jump. Something screwy with his right hind leg. Walks fine, can’t jump. A cat who cannot jump changes the whole dynamic of where in the house you can leave things. it makes me careless when visiting friends with cats. “Where are my keys? I left them right here on the counter.” lol

  5. Awe. I love this! As a mom I can relate big time. Our oldest is 21, our youngest 15 months. Our 21 year old is so mature and always has been…but when I watch her play with the baby I get flashbacks of fishing off our deck for paper goldfish with her favorite stick and twine pole, wide eyed and imaginative. I’m so thankful for those moments, and there is a part of me that mourns not having any more children. Their desires to be their authentic selves, growing and exploring along the way are all I know, and once they’ve all grown out of a need to be mommied I’m not sure what I’ll do! (We have seven kids…my entire adult life has been being a mom)

  6. We have no human children and we are perfectly okay with that, but our felines are very precious. Rave claw looks like a stinker and I mean that in a good way. Kittens are great!

  7. As my kids were growing I tried to pay attention to “the last time” events. I knew from my first child that I missed some of hers slipping by. I knew the last time I nursed her, and the last time she did special events in each grade but I dreaded missing anything. Then someone told me that for everything you lose as they grow, you get a replacement activity or ability or personality change or conversation with your older child that is worth the sacrificing of the things we learn to treasure as memories. This man was so right. Each stage brings wonderful new things. I have a 26 year old daughter who is married and we didn’t lose a daughter but gained a wonderful son-in-law. Our 19 year old triplets bring us such joy and increased our family by including their delightful roommates and friends in our family life. It’s all good. I hope you enjoy whatever comes after the last time he wears his costumes. One of our kids was a costume wearer and I treasure the memories and the photos. But he’s an even more fun guy now wearing his five o’clock shadow.

  8. Um, that’s a HUGE freaking announcement. I’m always super pissed when I post on Facebook a picture of my kitten doing something adorable and it gets, oh, maybe 3 likes. But then my sister posts a picture of her kid doing the EXACT SAME THING (i.e. playing with ribbon), and that picture gets, oh, maybe 3 BAZILLION likes!
    Inequality for kittens!!!

  9. My nearly 12 year old son will still hold my hand in PUBLIC. I keep waiting for the day he will be embarrassed to walk next to me. I know I should feel lucky that I’ve gotten more time than most but I’m still dreading the day.

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