Thursday, February 5, 2009

Should I continue the list?

The latest, helpfully passed on to us, since they didn't tell us this first-hand:

do they know they're going to have three in college at the same time?

is Annie going to be ok? Didn't she just have a baby?

The answer to both, of course, is yes. I was told, shortly after marriage, by someone I won't name, that I have good hips for childbearing. Just what I'd always wanted to hear. But the truth is, I handle childbirth pretty darn well. And by the time I give birth, Lucy will be about 18 months. That's more than enough time for my body to recover from the last birth. Good grief: some people get pregnant right after giving birth! (Not that there's anything wrong with that...)

Now, to try to get out of my grouchiness, I'm going to include an email from my friend Lara:

"oh, just wait 'til you're having your 5th! ;)

we were afraid to tell anybody...friends, family, even the church, for fear of what people would say (and in front of our other children) or even for what they would think. there are some serious cultural prejudices against having more than the allowable 2.2 children. but we found that how people responded had much to do with how we told them the news, so we took to (1) having the children spread the word as much as possible- they were so overjoyed, who could possibly be anything other than happy for us? and (2) just not telling people who we thought might not respond positively until we knew we could handle their negativity in a positive way. in fact, although we usually tell really early on, this time we didn't go public until the second trimester when i was no longer sick and exhausted, so i could beam at them and tell them with all sincerity how great i felt.

people's comments often reflect their own values and priorities, so remembering that can help you let the comments roll off your back like water off a duck, or whatever the silly expression is. the college tuition person is thinking financially, not relationally. your children will be so close to each other! they can hold hands through some of life's tumultuous seasons. they will be there for each other during some critical developmental periods. i know i don't have to convince YOU, i'm just trying to help you see that people miss the best stuff when they focus on one small detail that seems important to them. i love the discouraging comments about how you only have two arms- what will you do with three small children in a parking lot? there is no end to the insensitive things people will think to share aloud with you, but eventually they'll see your joy and the beauty of your family, and they'll forget all about their negative assumptions.

my favorite retort for the really insensitive comment is, (and i'm not sure i've been brazen enough to actually utter this myself, but it makes me laugh to think of it in the proper circumstances), in a very sweet voice, "did you mean to say that out loud?" heh heh heh.

thank God for your baby, and don't let anyone steal your JOY!"

What a nice email to open this morning...

And, by the way, Lara's having her fifth; I'm pretty sure we're NOT planning on five.

1 comment:

lomelindi said...

Enjoy your third. My third was the easiest. It is amazing what people will say. My favorite was a work colleague who asked, "Are you Catholic?" and when I replied no asked in astonishment, "Why are you having a third child?"
I was so flabbergasted all I could do was stare dumbly back at her.