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Sheltered

I like to be sheltered a bit. I am not always in a place to listen to "baby" talk, so sometimes it is nice when people watch what they say around me. Actually, most times it is nice. I am not good at faking interest or excitement when my first reaction is to run. For the closest exit. At a Usain Bolt speed.

I think when Tripp first died I was worried that people would treat me differently. Now I am glad when they do. I am different. I learned through experience that bad things happen to good people. Because I am different, I am relieved when people consciously refrain from baby talk in my presence.

This is not to say that I CAN'T do baby talk. In fact, depending on the day and the people involved, I might even be able to release some of the angst and enjoy the conversation. 

It makes me wonder when I sit around a room of acquaintances what other people are wishing they were sheltered from.

I bet the widow might not want to hear story after story about the crazy things our husbands do, nor does the woman who just can't find Mr. Right.

I bet the recovering alcoholic might not want to hear about the huge party on the weekend, or about how we "need" a beer after the day we've had.

I bet the mother of a child who struggles, might not want to hear about all the academic accolades our children have received.

And I know for sure that sometimes when people have experienced the loss of a baby, they might have a hard time hearing about other people's healthy bundles.

Writing tonight has reminded me to pay attention to my audience. I certainly can refrain from chatting up Calder with someone who has struggled with fertility. As much as I love to talk about my boy, I care more about how my words will make that person feel (and if I really need to brag, I can call either Grandma anytime :-). Maybe I can provide a brief moment of shelter for someone else.

A few weeks ago I read a post Glennon wrote over a Momastary.com called Bragging Rights. Kind of related, but not entirely. In the very least, it is some REALLY GOOD parenting food for thought. 



Comments

  1. hmmmm...I struggled how to respond to this, but feel strongly that I must.

    I absolutely disagree with the Momastery post. I think there is a balance that has to be achieved between "one upping" people and celebrating success.

    We cannot edit our lives by tip toeing around others all the time. For instance, in your post you speak about how you can just "brag" Calder up to Grandma...I can't do that. My mom and all my grandparents are dead:( It doesn't make me sad that you can do that though, I am happy for you that you still have that, because I know through my own pain how hard it is to be missing that everyday:(

    I read all the responses to "bragging rights" and there were some amazing responses, insightful ones that dug deeper than the original post. My favourite was from Sara who struggled through infertility: "Part of friendship and community and family is sharing in and accepting both the pains and the joys of others. If we can’t share our joy because we’re worried that others might be hurt or think it’s bragging, then the people we are talking with do not truly love us". In response to this another wrote: "A real test of character is being able to see through your own pain to celebrate someone’s happiness, or through your own happiness, feeling someone’s pain. If adults cannot do this, how will our kids ever learn?".
    Anyway, I think you would realize if your friends never spoke "baby talk' with you, or shut off that part of their life, that they were closing off part of themselves...and would you rather put up walls in your relationships to avoid pain?
    The intention is never to hurt you, I am sure of that. The intention is to share with you.

    ReplyDelete

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