More of the same

A birth announcement and another pregnancy announcement on the same day.  The pregnancy announcement will result in having that family having two kids 11 months apart.  The birth announcement is going to be four kids all younger than mine own.  They’ll probably still be having kids when my kid has kids.  I’m kind of numb from that realization.

I have friends I can ask what that would be like; having children and grandchildren simultaneously.  I find today my gratitude that I managed to have at least one stretched a little thin today, to be honest.  I try to spend a good part of my time in reflection on the joy of this gift I’ve been given.  This one precious gift.  But today it seems harder to focus on that element.

I read a meme this week, “Jealousy is when you focus more on what other people have than what you have.”  Maybe that’s true.  Jealousy isn’t really what I’m feeling.  I don’t begrudge them theirs.  And I don’t want theirs.  I want my life and my world, just with one or two more children.  It’s not envy or jealousy or a desire to take.  It’s longing.  Yearning.  Aching loss.  And I’m feeling it particularly hard right now.  Although I do feel like it’s a step up from bitterness and loathing, so perhaps I’m growing as person.  Or perhaps I’m just saving that for a different day.


And because of the nature of the universe…

Right after I finished my previous post, I got to have a 20 minute discussion of faith, tradition, and history with my cleaners.  One of my cleaners is a deeply religious Christian man who was studying to be a pastor and one of the problems he had with his divinity program and with religion in general, is that he doesn’t feel like he gets enough historical background and context. He’s less about “what we do,” and more about the “we do this because.”  Or more succinctly, how does what I do advance my spiritual growth?

Faith is always challenging us, isn’t it?

No miracles for me

So a pregnant friend of mine felt baby move and posted about how miraculous it all is and how close she feels to G-d and how blessed by the divine presence she is and how live, the universe and everything feels very much by design because nothing this amazing could happen by accident or random chance.

Reading that, all I could think was, “Huh.  Reading about how how you feel your baby move makes me think the universe is a horrible, cold, uncaring, unfeeling place, and how could there be a loving G-d who caretakes us if I’m still here after all these years feeling bereft.”  Now admittedly, some of my attitude may come from the fact that I’ve been reading the new Father Patrick Desbois, In Plain Sight, about the how the Germans methodically carried out the mass slaughter of Jews in villages throughout Russia and Ukraine, and that is really enough to give anyone doubts about divinity.  But I’ve always, truthfully, had problems with the “have” aspect of G-d.  That if you were blessed, you were worthy to receive blessings.  And if you weren’t worthy of receiving blessings, you were cursed, your land was cursed, the fruit of womb was cursed and all that bad stuff.

I think growing up Jewish in the shadow of the Holocaust; that never really played for me.  And that’s probably a good thing, because if I were like my friend in this scenario, I would believe that G-d was basically an asshole playing politics; giving to this one, and not to that one.  Moving pawns around like a chess game for personal amusement.  And then I would be a very angry person indeed.

And afterwards…
The post came up again this morning on my facebook feed and there were so many “I agree” type comments. But they didn’t stop with just agreeing. Well, at least one person did.  They posted a very sweet, “That’s such an amazing feeling,” kind of post.  I like her already. It’s validating, but not endorsing. And then there were other people.  Sharing  their horrible uniformed opinions like; People who don’t believe in G-d are obviously stupid because clearly there’s a creator. Things just don’t happen by chance! People who believe that abortion should be legal and the parent(s)’s decision are obviously stupid because it’s OBVIOUSLY a real life. STFU.  This was not an open-up invitation to share that you think abortion is wrong because obviously you’re the only smart person and you’re the only one who can properly decide what’s right for every other family in the universe.  I’m sitting on my hands not to unload on this person.  We’ve gotten into it before on this topic, when I was sharing about my girlfriend’s son who was diagnosed with a condition that was 99% fatal before age 2.  She was telling me that it would have been better for her to have given birth to him, rather than have an abortion because the “worst” thing that would happen if he was born was that he would die immediately after.  Okay, number 1, that’s not the worst thing.  The worst thing is that he is never released from the hospital, where he’s forced to live for years until he dies — never well enough to leave, but still clinging to life, while the family starves itself emotionally and goes broke trying to pay for treatments that are ultimately futile.  But you fucking do you. And number 2, I’ve had miscarriages and I mourn those children every day.  But to have to carry around a child knowing that if he survived birth, his life would be daily agony until death’s release….I couldn’t do it.  Some people can.  Some people feel like this gives them a type of closure, and that being able to hold the body of their dead child completes something for them.  I don’t think I could feel that way.  I think it would shred my heart to pieces.  That’s why I don’t make decisions for other people; because I know I don’t always feel the same way as they do.  And that’s why those self-righteous assholes need to not make decisions for me.  Because they’re OBVIOUSLY stupid and way more concerned with being right as they define their own rightness than being compassionate, loving, and understanding.
Yeah, definitely time to “Hide” that post.  And breathe.

Just Showing Up

I’ve been struggling with the idea that good parents just show up. Sometimes that’s true.  Sometimes all you have to do be a good parent is to be present with your child. And when you’re not there, it makes a difference, but there’s order of magnitude right?

I have a number of friends who have adopted and they struggle with birth parents.  Some when they show up.  Some when they don’t.  And of course, some with a little bit of both, which each carry their own burdens.  But for those birth parents, just showing up once a year, looking in the faces of the child they gave up — that’s hard but also necessary.  And for them, that does make them a good parent.  Because they continue to be a presence for their children, even when it’s hard.  Even when someone else is doing the day-to-day parenting work.  They did not abandon their children.

And then there’s other people who abdicate parenting to others and then claim parenting superiority because they show up once in awhile.  Every so often they stake their parenting claim, although grandparents and siblings do the majority of the parenting work, they want the parenting glory.  If those parents did the parenting work, they might have at some point read their children the story of the “The Little Red Hen,” who does all the work of baking the bread, despite requesting help from the neighbors on the farm.  At the end, all the neighbors come by to request to help eat the bread and she tells them to STFU. You don’t get an award for swinging by at the end of the day to spend a few minutes with your child before returning to ignoring them.  You don’t get to claim what a great parent you are if 90% of your child rearing is done by others.

I know this sounds judgemental coming from someone who has a child in school or camp the majority of the time, but at the end of the day, I’m the one who prepares meals, washes clothing, gives baths, washes hair; I do the work of parenting.

And to point out that at least you do more than your co-parent; that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement.

Today in Social Media

I’ve been being very good about limited my complaints about my Trumpette friend, because, I’ve only posted about it twice.  (I almost posted yesterday after I put her on blast for a super racist/anti-Democrat-in-congress meme  – and provided her a better meme she could use if her intention was to say that term limits are good.  I think term limits are awesome.  If we’d have term limits, I wouldn’t have felt obligated to send that alleged womanizing, murdering ass Ted Kennedy back to the state house term after term. I’m not going to detail the meme, but it was a repulsive and gross attack on two black female House members, none of whom, btw, are even in the top 20 for longevity; I was curious so I looked it up.)

But today she posted a meme that made me want to smash a keyboard into her face.

“Your spouse just texted, ‘Hey, lets have another baby.’ Comment your reaction in gif.”

First off, I’m not a huge fan of the gif thing regardless, possibly because I’m terrible at searching it and never find ones I really like. But I hate the smug arrogance of the fertile that is embodied in the meme.  Like that’s just a thing you can turn on.  Just toss out the birth control and bam!  Instant baby.

Making a baby isn’t like turning on a light switch where you decide you want to turn on the light, flick and switch and bam!  Light!

I just wished more people recognized that.  For some people it takes effort.  I wish people appreciated the effort that the infertile put into having children.

What does silence mean?

The friend of the long silence had her baby recently, and has gone pretty silent again. I know it’s not about me, but I can’t help but wonder; if she silent because she’s respecting my conflicting feelings and my personal space, or is she shutting me out because she’s worried that my feelings will turn me into an asshole that she can’t talk to about baby stuff.

Do normal people worry about these things?