A Million Reasons

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It was like Mom was on the attack as soon as we got into the house. I wanted to sit around and stare at my ultrasound pictures, but all she wanted to do was argue.

Something about me keeping my babies was setting her off, and I had no idea why. Didn't she want me to be happy?

"Chrys, think about what you're doing," Mom said.

I sat at the dining room table with my ultrasound pictures. Poppy was prepping a bag of popcorn in the microwave. She knew this was going to be a show. Just great. The last thing I needed right now was an audience.

"Mom, my mind is made up, I'm keeping them," I said. 

"You're acting with emotion, not your head, Chrys." she said. "This house is small enough with the three of us."

"No, I'm definitely using my head, which is telling me to keep my babies."

Mom was leaning over the counter, almost like she was ready to pounce. "Why? Why would you want to do this to yourself at such a young age? Why would you want to have that burden on you?"

"Was I a burden on you at seventeen?" I asked.

Poppy made a dramatic gasp as she pulled her popcorn out of the microwave. I rolled my eyes.

"That's not what I'm saying," she said. "I was barely passing high school. I had nothing going for me. You have great grades, you took your SATs and probably did well, and you're looking at colleges. You have such a bright future ahead of you. Don't let this get in the way."

"They won't get in my way. Besides, I wanted to go to community college anyway. I never wanted anything ivy-league."

"And who's going to watch them while you're in class? Have you forgotten that I work three jobs? And Poppy is way too young to watch two babies, plus she has school. There's no live-in babysitter here."

"I can find a sitter online or something. There's tons of websites I can look on for someone," I said.

"But if you gave them up for adoption, you wouldn't have to worry about any of that. You could even do an open adoption where you visit them and get pictures. You could go to college and live a normal life, but never lose touch with them," Mom said.

"Mom, my life is already not-normal. I'm pregnant at seventeen!"

Poppy opened her bag of steaming popcorn and took her place in the far corner of the kitchen. It was far enough away where she'd go unnoticed but still have a good view. The buttery smell of this bag was about to send me flying into the bathroom.

"Chrys, think about it. I know it would be hard, but they'd be going to a family that's already financially stable. They can afford to give them everything they need. Look at us in this little house! How are we going to cram two more babies in here? Where would they sleep?"

"In our room!" Poppy said,

Well, this is a plot twist. She never chimes in.

She stepped forward and inserted herself right in the middle of everything. She grabbed a piece of paper from the notepad on the fridge, along with a pen, and started drawing. She prided herself on being a budding artist.

"If we trash our old twin beds and get that bunk bed we've always wanted, we can easily fit two cribs where Chrys's bed is now," she said, pointing at the different squares and rectangles on her diagram. "We can get one of those corner changing tables to fit in right here, and we can clean out the walk-in closet to fit their clothes and toys."

"Poppy," Mom said, "you want to keep them too? Do you realize how much this would be on you? They'd be waking you up in the middle of the night, crying while you're trying to sleep for school the next morning."

"Right! But I can help with the babies because Chrys won't have a live-in baby daddy, like you did. I already do a lot of babysitting, and I don't know how to take care of babies but I can learn!"

Mom smiled. She was coming to her senses. "There's a big difference between a baby daddy and a loving boyfriend, missy."

"Poppy, how are we going to pay for a bunk bed? Those things are hella expensive, you know," I said.

I didn't want to fight against my own cause, but I genuinely had no idea how we'd pay for that on top of all the other expensive things: car seats, cribs, food, and the diapers...with two of them I was going to need so many diapers.

"I'll look around for more babysitting gigs," Poppy said, placing the piece of paper back down. "There, problem solved. Now can Chrys keep the babies?"

"It's not a matter of permission, it's a matter of my approval." Mom nodded her head. "We're going to have a full house, aren't we? I'm almost done paying off the mortgage. That sunroom I wanted to build could easily be a bedroom down the line."

"You mean it? You're really okay with it?" I asked.

"I'm not even in forty, and I don't really want to be considered a grandma, but I miss having a little baby around so much," Mom said. "Let's make this happen, if it's what you really want. I'm not going to sit here and force you to give up your babies if you don't want to."

"Yeah, it really is what I want. I wasn't sure at first, and I know it'll be hard, but just from this one picture, I love them so much," I said. "Cler even started buying me clothes."

"Group hug!" Poppy shouted, tackling Mom from behind.

I joined in. Here we were, the three of us, ready to tackle the journey of adding not one, but two babies into our already crazy lives. I already knew I could handle this whole thing with no problem, but having my family behind me was the icing on the cake.

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