Fair warning: this will be one of THOSE letters, but I promise to get back to our normal light-hearted fun soon.
A friend posted an article today written by a mom of three boys. (If anyone wants to read it, here it is.) The writer lamented the comments offered to her by total strangers. Comments like, "are you going to try for a girl?" and "good luck" muttered sarcastically are apparently common place to this poor mom, and they bother her. I totally get that. In slightly different way, I completely understand where she's coming from. I, too, get unsolicited advice.
I get comments because of just you
People seem to have lost the skill of minding their own business. Because I only have you, I unwittingly open myself up to prying questions about my life choices and fertility. BY COMPLETE STRANGERS. I am asked more frequently than I'd like about if I am going to have more children. I've even had the following conversation with the check out lady in the grocery store:
Her: Is he your only?
Her: If it's a fertility thing, you should try Clomid.
I wasn't quite sure how to respond. Should I be magnanimous and just thank her for her advice? Should I offer up my legendary snark and sarcasm? Or should I get defensive tell her to mind her own business in a more forceful way? I ended up going with the non-committal nod, mm-hmmed and fiddled with the card swipey thingy.
All these impertinent questions about my uterus and private life frustrate me. Not just because what I do with my reproductive organs is no business of anyone else, but they frustrate me because when they ask those things, I feel like they aren't seeing YOU. You're my lightning boy. I was not expecting you. You ended up in my heart and life by sheer luck and love and blessing. You electrified me, lit me up, like a bolt of lightning out of the blue. You weren't supposed to be here, and then you were. And people don't know that. And I guess they don't need to know it, because it shouldn't matter. You're an awesome little man all on your own. I stand in amazement of you, just because you are you. Any child deserves that, really, regardless of siblings.
I've had people question what's going to happen to you when Daddy and I pass away. Again, total strangers. You are blessed with cousins, friends and extended family. Yes, I do worry about that, but I know in my heart that you, because you are strong, capable little you, will be ok. And one day, you will have a wife and family of your own who will stand by you and support you.
I've had people ask if I put too much pressure on you because you're my only son. How do I answer that? I want to push you to be your best. I will support you in whatever you want to pursue. I WILL pressure you to finish a commitment when you start it, but I would do that even if you had 15 siblings. That's me teaching you perseverance, tenacity and respect for the team-mates and teachers you are working with in your commitments. I'm not going to ask you to be more than just you. You are enough on your own. You will be amazing, just as you are.
But I worry that one day you will feel these things because it seems like people will always feel the need to ask. They will continue to interject their two cents. So, I feel like I owe you a bit of an explanation, in the case that one day you really start to wonder and ask yourself. Yes, I deal with infertility. No, I did not plan for you to be an only child. No, I probably will not have another child. Yes, I am ok with it. And hopefully you will be too, little boy.
You were wanted more than you can ever imagine. While I don't want this to ever inflate your ego, I want you to know just how loved you are. I am one luck mommy because you are an only child. I'm lucky because you are MY child. My little bolt of lightning. You even occasionally even make my hair stand on end - usually because you are making me pull it out.
I love you so very much,