Monday, March 31, 2014

In Which I Go Full-On Watering Pot at Toddler Storytime

Last week, I took Tatoe for his regularly scheduled Library Toddler Storytime.  I brought along my knitting, as I usually do, because toddlers can be boring.  Afterwards, they were all playing with play dough and a woman I kind-of-know asked what I was knitting.

"A present for a friend's baby." I said. "She had some tragic events recently and I hope this baby makes it."

"Oh," she said.  "We lost four.  Seven pregnancies, three children.  We lost three right in a row.  I look at little girls who would be that age, sometimes, and I still feel sad.  And nobody talks about it, or they do and then they get upset and you end up reassuring them and it's even worse.  When did your friend lose hers?"

So of course I said "I'm so sorry to hear that, it's just terrible" and told her (in general, privacy-protecting terms, though these people will almost-certainly never meet) and we both sat there in front of all the small children and their parents and the librarian with tears streaming down our faces.  I've never lost a child, but I know so many people who have, all the way from garden-variety infertility to sudden and inexplicable stillbirth, and it's such a tragedy and awful and terrible and I'm probably going to cry every time it comes up ever.   

Anyhow.  Clearly I should bring a different knitting project to the library.

12 comments:

  1. Clearly I should bring a different knitting project to the library.

    On the other hand, no matter how many tears were shed -- or even perhaps because of them -- I bet this lady was glad to have a chance to talk of her four missing children, to be able to acknowledge to someone that they were loved and wanted and are missed.

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    1. Yes. I was just thinking how lucky that you did bring that particular project.

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    2. I was just thinking the same as Bionic

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    3. That's what I was thinking, too. Although I understand the "feelings in public" issue.

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  2. You gave her a gift, an opening to talk about something that is often taboo to discuss.

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    1. I was very glad to give her the opportunity - don't get me wrong. In fact we had quite a long conversation about it, while crying in front of all the toddlers (I have omitted all the very personal details everyone mentioned). However, I am EXTREMELY uncomfortable to be Having Feelings In Public - in someone's house, yes, but the library! On the other hand, it's actually quite a large project and I'm going to be toting it about for months so.... maybe it's time to gracefully accept that Sometimes People Have Feelings In Public.

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  3. Zenmoo12:48 PM

    I'm on 5 pregnancies, 1 child & 1 currently 23 weeks. I agree with Becky above. It is a gift to have an opening to talk some days.

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  4. Maggie10:31 AM

    And it is a gift to witness someone Having Feelings in Public and surviving the experience. Some of us have been socialized not to even know about our feelings because 'public' would make their expression forbidden. Thanks so much for being present to that conversation and taking the risk to go ahead and weep.

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  5. Ditto the others. Good on you for weeping, good on you for weeping TOGETHER.

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  6. I think you're great. Speaking as someone who batted .500, which is great in baseball and awful in pregnancy, I never felt like I could talk about it and would have given anything for a sympathetic ear. Big hugs all around.

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    1. I never knew that - but it is also VERY SAD. How I wish you had had a complete stranger to cry with, or, even better, a friend.

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