I'm babysitting for a very good friend tonight. She's got 2 adorable kids, that I love as if they were my own family. When I arrived, her oldest RAN to greet me, and I got a giant hug, and then he had to show me all of his exciting toys. The little one isn't quite as excited about Aunt Beth, but she and I haven't really gotten a chance to know each other as well... yet. I'm sure that we will, it just takes time.
As I type this, the 2 of them are sleeping soundly *knock on wood*. The only sound thru the monitor is the sucking of a pacifier. Little miss had a tough time going down, but I know that it is only because I'm not Mama. Her big brother did his parents proud tho, only asking me to read about 8 stories (wink) before giving it up for the night.
As you can clearly tell, this friend is a fertile. BUT, she's not one of "those" fertiles. In fact, she's about THE most supportive non-infertile I have in my life. Her door is always open, any time I need a little man hug fix, or a smile from the little one, or a shoulder to cry on, or an ear to scream about the injustice at. Yet she's never, ever pushed me to be here. Her and her husband have invited the GrumpyOne and I to all of the kids birthday parties, yet she's completely understood when I've had to decline. Never once would she dream of uttering the dreaded "just relax", as she's well aware that 1) that doesn't work, and 2) that's probably the most insensitive phrase she could ever let fall out of her mouth to someone struggling to start their family. And the best part? I've not had to tell her any of that.... she just knows. She gets it, in ways that I'd never have expected a fertile to get it. I am incredibly blessed to call her my friend, and to be an Aunt to her wonderful kiddos.
Of course, this isn't the easiest way for me to spend a Saturday night. The kids are fun, and I always enjoy my time with them. Yet, anytime I head home after a visit with them, our house seems a little more empty, our family a little less complete. I expect a tough night tonight, and probably not my best day ever tomorrow. But, that's part of this journey, and I wouldn't give up the relationship with her, or with these kids, to spare myself that pain. Sitting here, listening to that monitor, knowing there are 2 little ones upstairs sleeping peacefully, that I will ALWAYS get to call my nephew and my niece... that's worth a few tears any day. And the best part? On those days that I can't do it.... that's ok with everyone.
I must add the disclaimer that I'm hesitant to even publish this post. My friend and I have discussed these issues before, so none of this will be any surprise to her. Yet, I really don't want these words to upset her. So YOU (and you know who you are), DON'T feel badly about this. You know me, and you know I'll be fine. And you also know that I need a bad day from time to time, that I need the cathartic release of a few tears, and that they'll come anyway. Please don't for one moment think that it's got ANYTHING to do with you or your beautiful family. Instead, it has absolutely everything to do with the kids I don't yet have. And that isn't going to change whether you 2 take a date night or not.
Edited on November 20, 2008 to add this link from the friend that I discussed in this post. Isn't she amazing? I'm so, SO blessed to have her in my life!
Saturday, June 21, 2008