Saturday, June 21, 2008

Oh my aching


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!


Lori said...

What a bittersweet experience.

And, I love your title/first line. Made me laugh.

Kaci said...

Oh Beth, where do I begin? First, I never want you to hesitate to publish anything because of worry about how it might make *me* feel. This is your place, and yours alone. You need it and I respect that. I would never want you to hold something back. You certainly don't need to worry about how it's going to make me feel.

It brings tears to my eyes, because I am so incredibly lucky to have you as a friend. It does upset me, but only because I so badly wish I had a magic wand. I hate this situation, but I'm glad that I am able to have the understanding that allows us to maintain the friendship. I'm lucky to have a friend who can willingly put her heart on the line, because I know that it hurts, and I hate putting you in that situation. I really do appreciate you, more than you'll ever know.

Matthew woke up calling for "Aunt Bef" this morning...I'm not sure if that helps the ache or just adds to it, but he adores you. I pray it won't be long until that little voice that calls you in the morning will be your own little one. (((hugs)))

luna said...

this is a beautiful post. you are so lucky to have each other in your lives. actually your friend kaci's comment brought tears to my eyes, if only because I wish I had such understanding friends IRL.

I have a similar wonderful relationship with many of the kids in my life, yet I still come home feeling hollow and sad. it's as if the joys and fullness of being with them in effect magnifies the emptiness in my own life, once I've had the down time to reflect. your note at the end was beautiful too, and so right on. thanks for sharing this.

Jess said...

Here via Mel's Roundup...

Your post was beautiful. I had a babysitting gig before we got pg/while we were waiting to adopt (AKA before the kiddos) with my godson and while every minute I spent with him was wonderful, there were also such bittersweet moments (helping by folding baby clothes in my spare time, for example) that I spent a lot of days crying in the car on the way home. You are CERTAINLY not the only one who feels this type of thing. :)

You know what, though, more than your post, even, you friend's comment brought tears to my eyes. My fertile friend and mom to that godson...doesn't get it as well, bless her heart. No fault.'s hard. You're lucky to have your friend. She must be amazing. And kudos to you for being so open and honest, not just on the blog, but also in real life, apparantly!!

SarahSews said...

I've so been there. I have 3 nephews and 2 nieces and the joy they give me and my hubby when they shower us with love is always a followed by sadness when we aren't with them anymore. It became a huge part of our experience of IF -- the up close kiddy goodness followed by the stark silence when we got home alone. But I still can't pass up an opportunity to see them and love them and swallow up their goodness.

I don't know you but like your dear sweet friend I wish I could make you a mother, stat.

Patricia said...

Via la Creme...

What a thoughtful and loving post. I know the feelings well and while it doesn't diminish our love for the kids or their parents/our friends, it all tugs on the heart in ways that little else can.

Thanks for sharing your story with Creme.

battynurse said...

Beautiful post. I like her response too.