As you all know, earlier this week was the fourth of July. We decided to join some friends at the local fireworks show on Tuesday evening since that was going to be easier than trying to get to one after Bible study on Wednesday (the actual holiday). We showed up early to find a "good" spot, played and talked and hung out until dark. Glow sticks kept my children from going completely crazy, and they quickly decided that our friend Sarah was a great person to snuggle up with.
Sarah is amazing. She's still in the middle of a struggle that I have already overcome, but maybe with a little less hope than we had. She and her husband haven't been able to have children. So, when I noticed that my son, who had never really experienced fireworks before, had chosen her to sit beside for the show, I tamped down my jealousy.
Why was I jealous? I had been looking forward to this ever since I talked my husband into it. Seeing things for the first time through your children's eyes ... there's nothing better. I wanted to sit and see the wonder and excitement and mystery. Was he going to be scared? Would he love it? I didn't know, but I wanted to find out.
Instead, I reminded myself that I could still see most of his reactions from my spot slightly behind him. And I let Sarah enjoy this first moment. He would point to the colorful blossoms of light in the sky, say something about their color or brightness or loudness, then put his hand on her leg and lean in to her. It was precious.
I will get to be with him for almost every one of his firsts. Remembering back on how it felt to go through the struggle of infertility, of wondering if/when we would ever have children, it wasn't as big of a struggle for me as it could have been to let someone else enjoy that moment. But it was definitely worth it.
I'm not saying any of this to make myself look good. Trust me, I still have a long way to go before I can be anywhere close to perfect. But maybe by telling this story, I can help you help others in similar situations.
I know I've talked a lot about infertility. It's sort of ironic, because when we were struggling through it, we didn't talk about it as much. Maybe I'm stronger. Maybe it's just easier to talk about something hard after it's over. I don't know. But I still have days when I can feel the angst and the sadness and the frustration. So, for all my friends out there still in the middle of it, I'm here for you. And I say a prayer for all those who want so desperately to be mamas and daddies all the time. Hang in there.
This is a place for me to share thoughts and ideas not just related to writing. Thoughts about what's going on in my life, about an idea I got that I thought shareworthy, or just a funny anecdote.