18 July 2010

Not Such a Simple Question

I was recently out having coffee with a nice enough looking pair of shoes and as it was the first time we had gone out it was a bit of the 20 questions game. Really that doesn't bother me so much, but there is always that one awkward question that is asked, and it is usually asked fairly early on in a discussion.

I never know what to say and almost panic a little when it comes. My mind flashes with different responses as I try to read the situation enough to decide how to answer this time. I know my answer changes frequently depending on who I am talking to and how well I know them.

Are you curious what kind of innocent question gets me so worked up every time? How many kids do you have? That's it.

In case you are a new reader here one of my twins went to heaven as a baby, I also have a son that is 5 years older. There are those that will read this and they will say you have 2 kids not 3, why are you making a big deal about that? (Yes someone really did say that)

Well I could put it this way... If your mom died she would still be your mom. No one would ever assume you never had a mom. Well in the same way Love is one of my children he just happened to beat me to heaven.

So when someone asks me, "How many kids do you have?" one of the first things I try to assess is am I ever going to see this person again? Are they going to be a recurrence and ask about kids? Am I going to have to spill the story at some point?

Going out with those shoes I quickly decided that it would be best to leave Love out of the conversation. I wasn't feeling too hopeful about where things were going to go at that moment and nothing brings down a conversation quicker than talking about the death of a baby. So I told him I have 2 kids. No explanations. If I  was wrong and we got along then surely he would understand why I wouldn't go into it right away.

Someone I work with who asked I decided they are going to find out about this and better to know up front so then I would answer "3 - 2 with me and one in heaven." Then if I mention something about a twin pregnancy they aren't looking at me like I'm on glue.

I know a woman who also lost one of her twins and she would answer 3. People would look at her see only 2 and ask where the other child was and she came up with the answer she's with my mom. No one would have known her mom had also been promoted to glory.

I think one of the biggest challenges with it is how others react. If someone told you they had 3 kids but one was in heaven, the reality is you wouldn't quite know what to say. No one does. Just don't treat moms like me as if we are contagious or sit and feel sorry for us. I hate the look people give me when they find out.

The thing is I stress out about how YOU are going to react if I answer honestly. For me it's just a matter of fact, and I will say it that way. I'm not usually going to break down in tears and become some weepy mess. There was a season for that, but that's not where I am today.

So there you go it all comes down to me being worried I'm going to make you feel uncomfortable because of a tragedy in my life! K now tell me now if you are a mom to angel babies like me how do you answer the dreaded question? If you are blessed and didn't experience the loss of a child how would you react to answers like mine?

1 comment:

Miz Dinah said...

I know two people that have recently lost babies; one a twin and the other a second child, both before birth. My niece who lost one of the twins and has an older daughter will say usually say 2 when asked, but will tell some people 3 and explain about the baby boy she lost. My sister-in-law will say 2, one in heaven. She is very willing to talk about it, and even had her baby girl's footprints and name tattooed on her arm. She always refers to her as her angel. It doesn't make me uncomfortable to hear these things, just sad. For her, she doesn't want her little one to be forgotten.

I guess it just depends on how you feel that day, right? You can always say 2 and later on down the road share that your third is in heaven. Or if you're feeling emotionally strong, say 3 and one is in heaven. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. There's no right or wrong answer, because it's a personal thing. Don't worry about making the other person feel uncomfortable. You can't control other people's feelings and reactions, only your own.

I am sorry to hear about your little guy, shoeless mommy. (You can't see me but I'm not looking on you with pity, just empathy). ♥

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