Tuesday, February 8, 2011


I met a woman at the park shortly after Jack was born.  He couldn't have been more than a month old.  I remember because as he got older, I tried walking to further parks to force myself to exercise.

She had a daughter about a year younger than Phoebe who was so adorable -- she was wearing sunglasses.  And she was WEARING them, not trying to take them off or anything.  She bought them at Old Navy.  Phoebe needed them.  Immediately.

We chatted like moms do at the park, in a really noncommittal way.  She mentioned briefly trying for another baby so hers would be close in age like Phoebe and Jack.  I might have mentioned that we weren't necessarily trying when I got pregnant with him, but were definitely drinking Aviations when I got pregnant with him.

A few weeks later, Geoff and I bought Phoebe a couple pairs of sunglasses from Old Navy and she wore them for 10 seconds and then took them off.  That lasted most of the rest of the summer and into the fall.

At Phoebe's mommy & me class (I guess it was "our" class, what with the "mommy" AND "me") I saw the woman and her daughter again and I told her I remembered meeting her from the park that one day (seriously -- we're talking about like a 14 month old little blonde girl wearing sunglasses, people -- it was adorable) and we got to chatting, and she remembered seeing Jack and asked how old he was.

I didn't see a bump.

She told me it was taking longer to get pregnant than they had thought.

I didn't know what to say.

I mean, I know there's all kinds of things you're NOT supposed to say ("Stop trying -- it'll happen!" and "Both our kids were happy accidents" and whatnot) but I didn't know the right thing to say.  So I just smiled and said 'Yeah ...' and let my voice trail.

She said they'd just bought a house recently, and I brought up our horrid situation of buying a place worth H A L F (that's 50% for those of you who like to shop clearance racks) what my husband paid for it, and how we're trying to figure out our options.

And I don't think she knew what to say.

And she has a house.

And I have Jack.

And I think I felt more guilty, and sad, than I ever had before.

My heart hurts for her.

When you're a kid (and both our girls were THOROUGHLY enjoying the "babies" section of the classroom), having something someone else wants is a good thing.  You don't want to share the toy.  You are happy to have the ice cream.  You love the front seat of the car.

When you're an adult ... the choice (a lot of times) is taken out of the situation.  We have no choice about our condo, just as she has no choice about the baby she wants.

And so, stuck across the divide of wanting, we didn't talk too much more.

And sometimes the moments of silence that pass between people have more meaning than the words.

And Phoebe and I were done with the class anyway.

But I keep wondering if she's going to get her baby.

And I really really hope she does.

1 comment:

Stephanie Precourt said...

This is really lovely, I do that in my head all the time, not comparing, but just weighing how we all end up with what we have sometimes.