Plan A ”” making babies with the tools you have around the house, as they say, the fun, free tools ”” faded into the background, and Plan B became foreground. I can count the ways Plan B is a less-desirable way to have children ”” the route seems to take you off the edge of the world and into the land of scrolly dragons. But when you actually go there, the map shifts. The brain’s ability to rewrite ”” to destinize, as it were ”” the birth story and turn a barn into a manger is so powerful that Plan B, all its unsexiness notwithstanding, became the best plan, because Plan B created the children that we have and are convinced we had to have. There had to be a soft spot in the top of Kieran’s head that seems to have been put there to make a perfect hollow for your lips to rest in a kiss. And Violet had to twirl her hair and press her tongue against her lips when she was thinking, in a pose that we call Philosophical Violet ”” you’d have to see it to see how it looks philosophical, but it does.
Third-party reproduction hardly seems a romantic beginning, but it became romantic to us when it became our story: “Baby’s Own Story,” as the vintage baby books I am filling out for each of them declare. It’s one I am always composing and that, one day, I will tell to our children, and it will take shape and grow in each of their minds, as they write the stories of their lives that become their lives.