Sunday, January 27, 2008

Small Talk


My husband and I got to go to a wedding last night. I honestly think the last wedding I went to was my own. Seriously. So we get all dolled up and wrote out our gigantic check (to cover our plates, I love that tradition) and went to the big wedding factory. I have to say I got a little overwhelmed. I am still a big ball of swirling emotions, and big events like this always add in a little anxiety. It was my husband's cousin's wedding, so it wasn't my home turf. I knew ahead of time that some mingling and schmoozing was going to be expected of me, and in my book that is considered work.
So we get there and start the obligatory travelling from relative to relative with the usual small talk topics of convo. I don't get into the particulars with bubs. If anyone asks how he is doing, I say 'great' and leave it at that. They don't know our story, they don't really need to, and my son is doing great, so no problem there. My husband introduces me to one guy, a random cousin I never met. Nice enough. He has three or four kids, and he asks us about our guy. We tell him and then he starts in on the 'are you having any more?' and we said no and the guy looked crushed. Like we kicked his dog or something. 'Oh, you have to have more' he says. 'No, we don't'. I say. God knows what my face looks like, I have a habit of gruesome facial expressions that don't always fit the crime. 'Oh, you really should have more, I keep beggin my wife for another'. I am thinking, 'listen buddy, did you have horrible postpartum depression bordering on psychosis, an infant who screamed bloody murder day and night who turned into a toddler who never looked at you, never spoke, never played with a toy, spinned wheels incessantly who later was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder requiring 19.5 hours of intense one on one service at your home in which you became a virtual prisoner, except for the twice weekly jaunts to the o.t. place? Did you become an obsessive parent constantly researching diets, supplements, recipes, therapies, etc., till you were on the verge of losing your ever loving mind'???????? Did you? Huh? No? I didn't think so. But I didn't say that. I just said " I am too old for another one". I would never ask another person that question. Gosh, I could have had secondary infertility, no ovaries, or something else wrong with my woman parts that were not any of his business or proper wedding convo.
Then of course this sparked the 'do you want another child?' convo that my husband and I have around three or four times a year. Not really what I thought we'd be discussing on our big night out, while a band played 'hips don't lie'. It makes me sad to know I won't be having another baby sometimes, but I also know it's a choice I made (with my husband)knowing how I am, how our marriage is, and what we can handle. I always hear that stupid saying about 'not regretting a child you had but regretting the child you never had'. I always envision myself as an old lady sitting in front of the tv with an afghan, watching wheel of fortune and just saying "I wish I had another child when I was forty one, why oh why didn't I have another child?". I am afraid I am going to regret it, but then the other intrusive, more real thoughts make their way in the door and I know I made the right choice, for us.


Drama Mama said...

That's right. I'm proud of you. And I'm glad you got out last night.

Maddy said...

I don't think it's a question of 'know your limitations' admirable although that might be, I think it's more an issue of being the best parent you can be to the one that you already have.

I'm sure that there are lots of parents with autistic kids who know just how much energy it takes to care for one autistic child. I think that there are a lot of other parents with typical kids who only see the tip of the ice-berg.
Best wishes

M said...

never in my life will I begin to understand how or why people think it's their business how many children other people have.

I always intended on having one child. As soon as he was born questions began about having another. I said never. My husband was getting his bits chopped. Everyone told me I was wrong.

No. I wasn't. Then my surprise baby showed up. As soon as she was out people started asking when we'd have another (though if we didn't want to it was okay because we had a boy and a girl now! wtf???)

Around that time I finally got diagnosed with PPD/PPA that I'd been suffering since Liam's birth. I was finally realizing we were heading towards autism. I was finally up to fighting the good fight for my son all while juggling a new daughter.

Even now. After Josh's bits have been chopped for half a year people still ask when we'll have another. Or if we'll have it reversed. Or other such craziness.

I firmly believe I was designed to be a mother of one. I am so blessed to have 2 and still keep it mostly together.

The big bad "A" word would've kept me from another in an instant. if Lily hadn't shown up uninvited (and I mean that with kindness I love my girlie) I'd never have suggested we have anymore.

And that's okay dammit! Because I am the kind who firmly believes you get what you get no matter what. Another child is another gamble at the game of who will this child be. With autism being the smallest of worries and much bigger, more difficult diagnoses' being more frightening.

WTH am I saying in this long rant about memememe?

I feel ya. I absolutely. Feel ya. And think people should shut the holy hell up.

Oh yes. Especially those who want big families, think everyone should have a big family, and meanwhile have a whole slew of totally typical children. My one autistic child is about 10 of your typical children. Thanks.

Um. yeah. sorry. Ranty. Psycho.

bonbon momma said...

Hey M,
Can I take you with me to my next wedding?
Your post reminded me of one of the lines I hear in bubs gym class over and over again:
'you get what you get and you don't get upset'. Truer words were never spoken.

Di said...

I will never understand why people ask that question. I have had total strangers - cashiers checking me out - give me the third degree why I have not given mine a sibling yet. Then I get people who actually say to me - well at the age she is now - its not like they would be close anyway! I have actually had people say that. And you know my situation. So you can rant to me anytime about that - it drives me insane...