for the past few years christian continues to be surprised how other people’s pregnancies affect me.
exactly how i react depends on so many factors like the relationship, the situation, the timing… and sometimes there is no logical explanation for my sadness. random acquaintances on facebook announcing their news are often the hardest.
i think he is getting a handle on my silence on those days or my tears on those nights. but it all still surprises him. and i guess it surprises me a little bit too.
through all of those years of baby announcements come years of baby showers. i have strategically helped when i could and gracefully stepped out of being involved when it was too much for me at the time. just a few months ago a good friend was having her shower. she was one of the first people i met when we moved to maple valley. she has always been kind to me. i wanted to attend her shower because i wanted to support her, but the closer it got, the more i felt a little panicky.
i remember the night we talked on the phone before her shower. she was asking about the problems i was having with my doctor and really, just being a loving, listening ear. when she didn’t know what to say (because really, what can you say in certain situations?) she just said how sorry she was. which made me feel better.
then came the moment where i felt i owed her an explanation for why i wasn’t going to be at her shower the next night. she didn’t let me finish what i was saying. “robin, a baby shower is the last place you need to be!” she jumped in, “please do not come to mine! i don’t want you to do that! go do something fun instead!”
it was a simple thing she did. something she probably hasn’t given a second thought to. but in that moment, sitting in my kitchen, on the phone with her late at night, i cried at what an incredible gift she had given me. it was understanding. it was compassion. it was friendship.
when i left my job my best friend there gave me a card that sums up how i feel about so many people who have been placed in my path.
this past weekend i threw the cute tally o a baby shower. it was a shower that was not hard for me to throw, or attend. (like i said, there is really no rhyme or reason to these feelings.) i was just happy to give her a fun celebration for her long-awaited little guy.
“do not pray for easy lives. pray to be stronger men! do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. pray for powers equal to your tasks! then the doing of your work shall be no miracle. but you shall be a miracle. every day you shall wonder at yourself, at the richness of life which has come to you by the grace of God.” (phillips brooks, “going up to jerusalem”, sermons (1886), p. 330.)