I have another post that is mostly written about what has been going on in our lives via the house disaster, recovering from losing Pepper, Charlie’s life in general, and my life after starting antidepressants. Sort of one of those “I’m a crappy blogger these days, so here is a catch all to get you caught up” posts that no one really wants to read but a handful of you would (and will) to be polite.
But a few things happened all within the span of a few moments tonight that changed the trajectory of my evening, and I want to share them with you.
Charlie has been challenging lately. She’s 18 months old next week so there is nothing surprising or out of the ordinary about this. She’s either a sweet, cuddly, perfect angel baby, or she’s a cranky, screaming, tantrum throwing monster baby. You don’t really know which version you’re going to get, and tonight I ended up with somewhere in the middle. To top it all off, after feeding herself a few spoonfuls of her supper she decided that rubbing it all over herself was much more fun and then was D-O-N-E done-like get me out of this chair RIGHT NOW done. Finally, she pooped in the tub, and then pooped on the floor while I was cleaning out the tub. At that point I was D-O-N-E done-like get me out of this house RIGHT NOW done.
Still, I finally went by the library today while she was at MDO and got us a load of books, so I was determined to read to her some of the Christmas stories I had picked out. I read one to her about Santa being allergic to cats and finding just the right home for a kitten he had rescued. Everytime I said “ACHOO!” in my Santa voice she giggled in that charming way that makes you forget about the pooping in the tub and any other toddler sins she may have committed. Once I was done with that one I settled in on the floor for our pre-bedtime routine of playing the hugging game.
My phone buzzed. Normally I don’t look at my phone during bedtime because it’s Charlie’s time and I try to give her my full attention when I can, but with all the insurance stuff going on with the house I decided to just check. We’re waiting to get a pretty big answer on something right now. It wasn’t insurance though, it was a friend I haven’t heard from in a long time who was asking me which fertility specialist I had seen and telling me that she wasn’t really liking the one she was currently seeing because she felt he wanted to run too many tests. I shot off a quick response telling her who I saw and letting her know that I was sorry for what she was going through. When I looked up, Charlie was holding our personal copy of “Wish” by Matthew Cordell.
If you haven’t heard of Wish, it’s a picture book for children about a couple that goes through infertility, but it doesn’t portray the doctor’s offices or the financial struggles. It’s very poetic and very beautiful. It’s about the waiting and the wishing. It came out a few months before Charlie was born and it’s the reason why elephants have been a big part of her life (my mother always turns her nose up, thinking about republicans).
Charlie has hundreds of books already, but she brought me the one book we have for her that talks about infertility. I read it to her on her birthday, on the day I found out I was pregnant, and on the day I heard her heartbeat for the first time-a few times a year. But she wanted it tonight, right when a friend of mine was hurting enough to reach out and ask me for help.
The final page of Wish is a dedication page and I’m going to type out part of it for you here:
“…to every mother and every father
and every would-be mother and father
who knows, has known, or will know
the joy that follows the difficulties
that come when we wish.”
After I put Charlie in bed for the night I sat down and typed a longer message to my friend. I didn’t give her any advice. I didn’t tell her to let him run every damn test in the book, because if this goes on for a long time she’ll be glad that he did. I didn’t tell her to find a way to distract herself as much as possible because she’ll need it to get down the road she’s traveling. I didn’t tell her to be her own advocate because she is the only one who will be. What I told her was that I was sorry. I told her that it has to be one of the least fun clubs to be in, this infertility club that no one comes out of completely unscathed. I told her that I wouldn’t pry or ask her any questions, but that on the same token, I was always around if she needed someone to cry with, vent to, ask advice, or hold her hand, because no one should have to go through this alone and sometimes, try though they might, husband’s just don’t get it.
When or if she asks me for advice I’ll be ready to give it, but right now I’m ready to just be the friend she probably needs. When I finished my message Charlie started to cry, so I went into her room. She was standing in her crib but as soon as she saw me she curled up with her pig stuffed animal and her blanket and I put my hand on her back and started to rub. She was content, having had her wish for comfort granted. What she doesn’t know is that just her existence was and always will be my greatest wish.