Life is good with two kids, so let’s keep it that way


It was an easy decision to stop having children.

My wife Nancy and I already have one of each possible kind: a daughter, Kali, age 7, and a 5-year-old son, Harper.

We’ve reached that happy stage in our lives where they are capable of pouring their own cereal and milk on Saturday mornings while mom and pop sleep for another hour — two hours if I can swing it.

They can turn on the TV and find “One Saturday Morning,” the pap that passes for cartoons since Disney bought ABC and dumped Bugs Bunny and the other Warner Brothers greats.

They can clean their rooms, help with the dishes, spend hours at a time outdoors, creating free time for their elders. When we go to the swimming pool, they can actually swim. They can ride their bikes and work in the yard. We can eat at a restaurant without crying fits. It’s been almost three years since I changed a dirty diaper.

In short, life is good.

We decided it should stay that way, so last summer we gathered up the high chair, car seat, electric baby swing and most of the baby clothes for a garage sale. It was touching to see the expectant couples looking over the items, planning for the arrival of their own little ones. I grew almost wistful watching them.

A few days later, a coworker brought his twin baby daughters to work. He and his wife had come to pick up his paycheck, and each was carrying one of the 6-month-old pudglings.

The father and mother looked happy together, radiant even, and I found myself drawn to them and their fat little beaming youngsters. I held the babies, knowing I would never have another of my own.

At home, Nancy and I were celebrating my 34th birthday. Friends from out of town were visiting with their baby and 6-year-old son. They were moving to Los Angeles, and I privately felt sorry for them and their young family, heading out to the vast wasteland of L.A.

After they left, I walked past the bathroom door and heard Nancy let out a small cry from inside. Her voice sounded frail, and I feared she had fainted. Rushing into the bathroom, I saw her holding a little scrap of paper with thin purple lines on it. Two lines. The second one meant she was pregnant.

Travis Chance Bohanan was born Feb. 19, 1998, at a hospital that has eight words in its name — it used to be called Wichita General. He’s a lucky boy. He’ll never want for attention, with a 7-year-old sister who loves to hold him and a 5-year-old brother to teach him the finer points of Transformers and X-Men.

It was an easy decision to stop having children.

* * *

Travis Bohanan celebrated his 15th birthday on Feb. 19, 2013. This column was originally published March 3, 1998, in the Wichita Falls Times Record News, two weeks after Travis was born. Sonny Bohanan was city editor of the Times Record News in 1997 and 1998, and his column appeared weekly on the editorial page.


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