I knew the question was coming. I just didn't know when.
But earlier this week when I was talking to an acquainance there it was:
"So are you going to have more kids?"
Maybe it's because I have two boys, but it's surprising how often I get
asked that question. It's usually accompanied with the second
question, "Are you going to try for a girl?" It happens at the grocery store, the library, a random mom at the park -- and definitely in conversations with people at church.
I can't take the question too harshly, because she, like most people, has no idea what when down in April.
That's a loaded answer though if I'm going to be honest about it. And, my guess is that most people are expecting a simple, "yes, no, or maybe."
While any of those three answers is appropriate, none of them feel accurate or satisfying at all.
Yes: Um, my health situation is so up in the air right now that I just can't confidently say yes. There are a lot of things to consider once I'm in the clear: my age, gearing up for the possibility of another miscarriage...the list goes on.
No: I am not quite ready to declare that we're done. It feels too final.
Maybe: That just sounds indecisive, which the planner in me can't stand.
I'm going to have to settle with one of those, because my bet is that most people don't want the ten minute explanation that ends with something like, "Yeah, so it turns out I wasn't even pregnant with a baby." :-)
But the question itself was actually a really good reminder for me that I have no idea what kind of a load other people are carrying. Simple questions sometimes have quite complicated answers.
The day after surgery I headed off to the store to pick up a few things. I hadn't been
there more than five minutes when a lady came around the
corner and crashed into my cart. She was apologetic, and it really
wasn't a big deal. But did it have to be a super cute pregnant lady that ran into me? She had no idea how not thrilled I was to be seeing her, and it had nothing to do with our carts colliding.
I started looking at the people in the aisles and wondering who else was dealing with a gaping emotional hole like I was. It instantly made me feel more love, more compassion and more empathy for every kind of sadness. I also felt immense gratitude that I have an incredible support system, a faith that gives strength, and past experiences that have made me strong and worked together for my good.
Not everyone is that blessed.
And speaking of a support system, my life is just filled with caring, loving people. There have been so many big and little acts of service that have eased my load and, oh my, have I felt loved. My mom took the boys for two days so I could heal and just be ready to be a mom again. The morning of my surgery Lindsey showed up at my door with dinner and a hug. She knew even more than I did that I needed both. One of my visiting teachers brought over Magnum bars. My sister had lasagna delivered to my door. It fed us for three days, and there were still leftovers. I'm pretty sure everybody needs that kind of comfort food at a time like this. My friend Wendy was out of town, but still had the most beautiful tulips delivered to my door. Becky sent me a 'package of sunshine,' which totally brightened up my day. And then there have just been the sweetest texts, emails and conversations that have reminded me I'm not alone.
It's impossible to be angry, frustrated or disappointed when I'm surrounded by so much goodness. The loved ones in my life have reminded me that the time is always right to do good. If an idea or prompting to serve comes, I'm going to act on it. It won't always involve taking dinner to someone or watching their kids for the afternoon. Sometimes my own full plate won't allow for that. Sending a text or writing a card might have to do. But I'm going to do something.
Feeling an extra measure of love has made all the difference.
It always seems to come back to how grateful I am for right now. Last month was one of my least favorites, and I'm not a big fan of continuing to manage my current health situation either. But if all of that hadn't happened, I wouldn't be learning these lessons right now. And since I'm a believer in divine purpose and direction, there must be a reason I need this instruction in this moment. I'm learning, and even though it's hard it really is a beautiful process.