Stranger in the mirror

(Warning – post written with sugar jitters. Beware of run-on sentences and bad punctuation)

I was reading a couple of blogs today of women with new babies and felt a pang of regret, a longing…very briefly mind you…but it took me by surprise because it’s not the first time that’s happened lately. I’ve literally bitten a hole on the inside of my lip when something comes up about the boys’ births or the pregnancy with them because although I LOVE the end result – them – I have to bite back the rush of sickening envy the images bring…the fact that there are pictures of her smiling and happy while cradeling her belly, the fact that anyone CARED enough to take pictures, the idea that that’s one thing we’ll never get to share…the excitement of a new life, the months of anticipation, the bonding of birth, the smile over a newborn’s head…but I bite it back because reality is what it is and then I remember I don’t even WANT a baby.  For the newborn sweet smell there’s dirty diapers and spit up. For every soft snuggle there’s a piercing wail and endless nights and diapers, did I mention diapers? Babies are cute and snuggly and loveable but they’re also loud and needy and expensive. Our (three…gasp) boys are self sufficient and FUN. I enjoy what we can do with them, and for them so why the stupid little pangs however brief? Maybe I miss the experience because I never had it (hence the overwhelming envy) but not the actual new dependent human. I don’t know. I never wanted to be married again either. Had no desire and yet here I am looking forward to the engagement and planning the wedding and practicing writing what will be my new name because apparently? I’m twelve and all I lack is a notebook to doodle our initials inside little hearts and if I could figure out how to dot my i’s with hearts on here, you can bet I would. And on top of ALL THAT, I find myself helping out with a Sunday School class this month with the intention of taking over in January and it’s VOLUNTARY. Apparently my strong distaste for strange children has mellowed because I almost, can I admit this?, I almost look forward to it. Yeah, there are times I don’t recognize myself. There have been a lot of changes wrought in me since the day I threw up my hands and said “okay I can’t do this You win…You exist, You’re pretty amazing and whatever You need to do in my life, please do it”. I still tend to cling to some of my old negative thought patterns and habits. I don’t trust 100%. I tend to want to snatch things back and say “no I can handle this just fine” and question WHY we have certain commandments. There are times I want to screech “why did you give me someone so wonderful and then take them away?”(usually about around 10:00-10:30pm. And again around 12. And 1am. And maybe about 3:30am. Those seem to be the common times anyway.) And when I’m not too busy wallowing in self pity and actually LISTEN I can hear God shaking his head and saying “HELLO! I didn’t take anyone away. There’s exactly one room and one door between you!” And then He facepalms because really, I can be quite unreasonable. Honestly it’s been a good arrangement in that I appreciate time together much more. I soak in every neck rub (and wow can that man give a good neck rub) and hug and kiss. I savor cuddling on the couch and will twist myself into a pretzel to listen to his heartbeat while we watch tv because yes, I am that sappy. But despite KNOWING that, having experienced that, I bite my tongue at bedtime to keep from BEGGING please just stay with me because it wouldn’t make it any easier on Jon and having to be told no would just make me feel worse. (Have you noticed I bite my tongue a lot…my mouth would get me in trouble a lot more often if I didn’t keep permanent bite marks). So I cry until I realize all over again how futile and silly it is. Or I get screechy. I’m a bit of a slow learner sometimes. It’s all part of that whole relinquishing control and having faith in His will and I don’t do that easily but apparently He’s working in spite of me because HELLO! I don’t even hate myself anymore…at least not often. And that in itself is a miracle.





1 Comment

  1. WOW. where to start. I can TOTALLY sympathize with the strange bittersweet emotions towards others’ picture perfect baby showers and perfectly arranged nurseries. I also never had the celebration phone call in any of my three pregnancies. No pink ribbons tied on shower invitations. No scrapbooks and sugar-coated videography to document every first. And I think it is okay to mourn that a little. We are Americans after all. But you’re also right to realize that the tiny Hallmarks lost THEN don’t define our relationships NOW. It took about 4 or 5 years for me to swallow this bitter pill and accept that I couldn’t have another baby just to redeem the past. But I’m preaching to the choir.

    That said, it is incredibly mature of you to take the stretching steps you are in your relationships. Both with Jon and with God. And those decisions will spill over to your boys. My heart resonates with many of your sentiments as though I have walked a similar road in my life. Or perhaps we are cut from the same cloth…nevertheless…

    Lastly, give yourself the joy of doodling your names and planning your wedding. (I never had that either when we got hitched at 16) This is a moment that you can celebrate! Not only the wedding, but the paths that have led you to each other and to God and the joined path that will take you into tomorrow. There is no reason to rush. Just close your eyes and inhale the bliss of the moment, for *that* is what true Hallmarks are made of.

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