Monday, July 13, 2009

the question

I have been waiting for this question. Dreading it.  Wondering where it would come from ... who would ask it ... would I be prepared for it?

Do you have any children?

It was asked very innocently.  Off the cuff really.  I was in a tennis tournament over the weekend.  I walked past one of my opponents (who we had just played).  I thought she was talking to me when I passed by.  She wasn't but said she could include me, if I would like.  We laughed and then she said ... Do you have any children?  I assume this is what she and the other person were discussing.

I mumbled something about needing to get my water and walked away.

How do I answer that question with someone that I probably will never see again?  Is that answer different with someone I just meet?  My answer will always be yes.  I do have a child.  To say no seems to dishonor Michael.  And his memory.  But to say yes.  To a virtual stranger.  Seems to be asking for more questions.  Like ... Boy or Girl?  How old is he? What grade?  Where does he go to school?

I have thought about the day that this question would be asked.  I don't put myself into situations, at the moment, that require me to talk about myself with someone that I do not know.  I stick with what I know.  I stick with the people I know.  

And so, I dodged the question the first time.  It allows me the opportunity to keep pondering my response.  

Or to keep avoiding those situations all together.    


Kim said...

That is a tough one. And something that I had not had to think about. I'm so sorry that you do.... You will know when you have the right thing to say and there is no rule on what that is....Love and hugs.

Anonymous said...

I do know a very little bit about what you may feel. Just a very very tiny bit.

I have 3 boys, Michael, Matthew, and Tyler. I am very timid about mentioning one, Michael who I gave birth to when I was 16. He is 26 now and is haunted by schitzophrenea. It is so so hard, I feel like I have lost him forever although he is still with us, but I am not sure for how long. I look back when he was a child and my heart is so broken.

Please call me 893-7911 or 294-2940I promise I can relate at least a little bit.

I love you!!

Denise (Tyler's Mama)

BKicklighter said...

Jeremy lost his mom just before we got married - he was in China at the time. When we got back to the states and married, I remember this situation was so hard for him to navigate too. What if someone makes reference to his mom? The sadness was so heavy and yet he didn't want them to feel awkward too. Ugh. I'll keep praying, friend.

Rebekah said...

I remember the first time I was asked that question. It's hard. It's still a hard one to answer but it does get easier. I've found ways to try to talk about Levi and transition the conversation into a related topic yet one that others can relate to or be a part of. Just like Kim said though, there are no rights or wrongs- share what you feel like sharing- and it's ok to just walk away and not say anything too.

Cindy said...

Very tough. I used to always say that I had two - a boy and a girl. Before Jack I used to say I had a little girl who passed away. And then I'd move on to some other topic.
Now I just say that I have one. I used to feel that somehow not mentioning Grace was in some way dishonoring her. But I don't feel that way anymore. You will figure it out as you go, just like you have up to this point. And it may stay the same or change as you change.
What won't change is your love for Michael and your pride in being his Mom whether you choose to share w/people or not.