Sunday, July 4, 2010

Heart Aches

First, I'd like to say "Happy birthday, America!", and wish you all a wonderful July 4.  After seeing my allergist/pulmonologist, and getting different antibiotics, I have finally been able to make a dent in the sinus/upper respiratory infection that has been making things rather difficult for me.

But I wanted to talk about something else.  Many of you have shared how difficult it can be to attend social events celebrating children/babies.  If I am honest, I will admit that doing so may be bittersweet for me, but it has not been something that particularly upset me.  Take, for example, when I attended our school's prom this year (as a chaperone, of course).  One of the other teachers, Kate, attended with her husband, Marco, their toddler daughter and 7 month old son.  We have been friends for quite a while, and while she did not have fertility issues per se, she had severe health issues and both children were very much longed for and sacrificed for.  While at the prom, I was talking with Marco as he sat with their 7 month old on a couch.  Kate was across the room talking with someone else, and Marco balanced the baby (somewhat precariously) - scissored between his legs.  Kate kept a nervous eye on the baby as she talked, uncomfortable with the baby's rather tenuous position. I finally reached out and scooped up the baby.  As I did, Kate audibly sighed, and shouted across the room, "Thank you, Hannah!  See, you understand; it's those mothering instincts you have in such abundance!"  And most of the room stared at me as my heart felt a resounding pang.

Not fun, but I can handle that.  But this week, I felt it much more intensely.  My new job has me working closely with a good friend, Andrew.  In fact, the reason I even got this job was because Andrew  recommended me so highly.  One day this week, Andrew brought his 5 year old son, Evan, to work.  Evan is a very serious little boy, and as sweet as can be.  While Andrew was in a meeting, I read to Evan, helped him play a new computer game, and draw a picture for his father.  I endured comments from the admin assistant about what a wonderful mother I'll be without too much problem.

We had a large group meeting during lunch, and I was part of the team leading the meeting.  Andrew had taken Evan out to lunch.  I was doing my thing, playing my part in the meeting, when suddenly I looked up and saw Andrew and Evan in the back of the room.  Evan was curled up in Andrew's lap, his head resting on Andrew's chest.  Andrew absently rocked him back and forth, rested his chin on Evan's head, stroked his hair and kissed the top of his head.  I whirled around to face away from him, my heart crying out to God in pain.

I don't know if you remember, but in an earlier post I talked about how while I yearned to be a mother, I ached to help Nate become a father.  And I was surprised to realize that those situations that remind me that I have not been able to do that hurt me even more than those that remind me I am not yet a mother.

So what about you guys?  What are the situations that really get to you?  How do you cope?