perfect journey stories
Bea - 34
2 children - 1 boy (9), 1 girl (5)
June 16, 2002
Today I was given the rare opportunity (at least one that I took the time to observe) to appreciate the great blessing and wonder that being a parent is. It started with Scooby Doo. Forest and the kids and I went to see Scooby Doo at a movie theatre uptown. Well, Forrest and Justin went to see Scooby Doo while I sat in the lobby entertaining my 14 month old daughter who did not seem to get the value of being entertained in a pitch black room by a talking dog. While we were having our own brand of fun, there was another mother in the lobby, a demure, doting Asian woman cradling a tiny baby girl, we exchanged pleasantries; babies names and ages, weight and propensity for hyper-activity – and the universal topic of sleeping through the night; no one ever seems quite happy with how it’s going no matter what stage they’re in. (In fact, earlier that day another couple swore that their four month old had been transformed into a non-sleeper as a result of a trip taken to the mid-west. They were hoping that a return trip would rectify a very bad situation. Any trick will do.)
The Asian woman and I continued at our exchange of small talk when suddenly the conversation of how far my children were apart in age, and how she started her family off with two dogs and a bird, turned into a confession of how she had been trying to have a baby for seven years. My heart slipped. I knew that I was about to hear a familiar story; one I had seen on television and read in magazines hundreds of times and right before me, willing to put a family to this story was this woman and her miracle baby – this is actually what she called her – and she was sincere and grateful with her sweet baby in her arms. “Four times we did it,” she said.; one artificial insemination and three in vitro-fertilizations. “You can’t work when you’re doing it either,” she confessed. She talked about the stress, the strain on her marriage, her fear and the physical turmoil of staying at home in bed for nine months.
Weight was the first thing that came to my mind. I wanted to ask her how much weight she gained, but I knew before the question was even fully in my mouth that weight was something that only women who could make babies on their own would be worried about. Her issue was a matter of creation. She was a woman who would risk it all, in fact had, in order to be a mother; whatever it takes, whatever it costs, no matter the time. I mentioned a couple that I knew of in the same situation. “They finally adopted,” I told her with encouragement in my voice. But she was resolute, “That is the way for some people,” she said matter-of-factly. “There are lots of children who need good homes but we went ahead.” And after speaking of the test of endurance she and her marriage had gone through she smiled broad and triumphant, “And I will go again very soon.” No question about it; confidence soaring. The doctor told her to wait six months. She went back, she said, in two.
There was a beauty to her determination. A grand pride in her accomplishment. She had won the race not given to the swift or strong but to her for endurance.
I will love and cherish my family and children not as a result of the difficulty I had to experience in order to obtain them but for the very opposite reason. Because it was - they were - easy and perfect and right on time.