A Loaded Question

On Thursday morning Calder and I headed to the Soccer Center for a Drop-in Playgroup. They have an abundance of toys for kids ages 6 months to 5 years spread out on one of the fields and there is plenty of space for kids to run and play.

I met two moms that morning. Both asked me if I was expecting my 2nd.

This question is a hard one for me. I have struggled with it since the moment Tripp died. But on Thursday, I told both of those mom's that I was expecting my 3rd.

It used to really bother me when I would divulge that information and then not get some sort of, "I'm so sorry" in return. I am beginning to realize that when I don't get it, it isn't because the person isn't sorry. It is because I have shocked them with what I've said and they are struggling to respond in any way. So when only one of the mom's said it, I was truly okay with it. I also think that because I am getting more comfortable saying it, I am better able to read other people's emotion - I'm not as caught up in my own. The mom who didn't respond, "I'm sorry" was sorry. I could tell by the look on her face.

The mom who did say I'm sorry had lost a baby as well. We shared our stories with each other and although they are different, they are also the same. It felt good to re-tell Tripp's story. I know I've said it before on here, but I don't get to do that very often.

Later that day, I had a call from a parent of one of my students. At the end of the call Calder came up and asked me a question. The parent then commented that I must be excited to have our second. Running on emotions from the morning, I told her that I was actually expecting our 3rd. The parent knew about my weekly treatments for the pregnancy, so I shared with her that I am having them because of how our youngest died.

Three times in one day I shared Tripp. The next morning I thought of the significance of it. It wasn't upsetting in any of those moments. In fact those moments just felt like a regular part of my day. I felt really proud and maybe even a bit empowered.

Fast forward to Saturday.

Hugh and I were at the rink for his Teacher's Hockey Tournament. We spoke with 2 different teachers who are acquaintances and both asked us about how many kids we have. When the first man asked, we stumbled around and awkwardly glanced at each other. Eventually I sputtered "Two", mentioning Calder and pointing to my belly. I am sure the man thought that we just couldn't figure out how to say we were pregnant, but both Hugh and I knew it wasn't that. When the second man asked we again stumbled over saying two. The man then went on to say his kids were 2 years apart and how great it is because they are best buds now. I had to choke back the lump in my throat.

I felt like crap after those two exchanges. Obviously, in the moment, it didn't feel entirely right to divulge Tripp - I guess maybe those were two of those moments we were protecting him (or maybe ourselves) from something. But I felt a sadness fall over me after those exchanges and I am still thinking about them today.

Maybe I need to come to terms with the fact that the question, "How many kids do you have?" is a loaded question for me. If I share Tripp, I might get a response or some sort of awkwardness that makes me feel bad, and if I don't share him, I may be stuck with guilt and sadness from not acknowledging him. I know that at the end of the day there is no right answer and I think that is the hardest part.

Comments

  1. My advice is for you to respond with what is in your heart and true to yourself. Don't worry about how others may react - that is for them to deal with and sort out, not you. Even today, almost 9 years after my dad died, I get questions about my parents (usually in the context of how happy my parents must be to be grandparents) and I let them know that my dad died from cancer. Sometimes it creates an awkward moment, but that no longer bothers me. My dad is an important person to me, and I want to share him with others, so that is why I respond how I do.

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  2. ^ I agree. Follow and protect your heart. <3

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