Posts tagged ‘family’
… since I’ve missed posting for three days for the blog challenge! We’ll go in the style of the song, backwards from most to least.
Four French Hens: Travel Tales
Prior to meeting, C, I was only a for-vacation, for-adventure traveler and then only rarely because travel was expensive and not native to my family experience.
C, on the other hand, has family in probably a dozen states and within a month of starting to date, I had flown halfway across the country to hang out with her family “as friends.” A few years later, her mother moved south, and we travel to visit her as well (and get a reprieve from colder weather). Even our trip to Hawaii over the summer was related to C’s family arriving home from war.
I can safely say that we both love to travel, whether by plane or car, and we have had some great adventures on road trips (three day road trip where we were on the road more than at our 16-hour-away destination) and trips a little further (Costa Rican ziplines, horses, and one-engine planes!).
Just like in many aspects of our relationship, our traveling together has improved the more we have done it. We tag team really well, from packing, to parking, to getting tickets, to getting food. We agree on quite a bit and usually easily compromise on any disagreements. I genuinely love traveling in generally, but especially with C, and I am grateful that the addition of a child will be a challenge, but not the straw the breaks the camel’s back. And that we will have a new opportunity to work together.
Three Calling Birds: Holiday Cards
In a sentence: I love them*, C hates them. Every year around our annual Halloween party, I start to make comments about wanting to have The. Most. Amazing. holiday cards out there. I talk about taking funny pictures of the dog, using funny pictures of us, and putting together something glamourous and spectacular. C would be fine if we avoided the task altogether, but goes along with my ramblings.
This year, we took several cute pictures of the dog in November. And suddenly it was December 10th. And I hadn’t picked the “official” pictures to use, hadn’t designed cards (because we don’t just stick them in REGULAR cards, that would be ridiculous! :-P), hadn’t done any of the necessary prep work to make these cards happen. And then we found a box of 40 beautiful cards for $10. And that was the end of that. C took on the task of addressing them while I signed and sealed (they were self-seal, thank goodness!) and we put them in the mail yesterday. I feel good because they are done, C feels good because they are done AND because she got to address them her way instead of my usual formal style (Think “Grandma and Grandpa” instead of “Mr. and Mrs. So-and-So.”)
(*Also I’ve made sending cards every year a personal goal… which means even when I don’t love them, I. Must. Send. Them.)
Two Turtle Doves: Loved Ones
Such a broad topic! Right now, when I’m thinking about my loved ones, I’m just feeling grateful that we have so much support around us. We have now told all of our parents, two close friends, and one sibling about the pregnancy and gotten nothing but enthusiastic support and congratulations. I am particularly grateful that C’s family has taken my pregnancy in stride (her mom is apparently hitting up a maternity store today) and that we haven’t gotten any rejection in terms of genetic relatedness. We are super excited to be telling C’s grandparents for Christmas – her grandmother, in particular, has been a huge support of both of us and has been (im)patiently waiting for this news (we had told all of the family in advance of trying that we were “thinking about it,” etc. so that when the announcement did come we would have a clue about how they might respond and they would have a clue that it was coming and could better prepare if there were any issues – this could be a whole other post, as I think it was a really good way for us to do it).
I am also excited to see so many loved ones this holiday season. We have some really nice traditions that worked out in a way that with very little effort we are able to see both sides of the family.
Happy weekend, everyone!
Came home tonight to “fertility surprises” from my wife which included lilies, salad, an avocado wrap, and whole (chocolate) milk… random fertility foods and flowers as listed somewhere on the information highway. Pure awesomeness since today was a schedule of work iui work again.
I am so hopeful that this is the one but even if it is not, I am pretty lucky 🙂
… And the livin’ is busy…
At the last minute, C watched our niece last night. I was at work for most of it, but they apparently had a lovely time running errands and making dinner. C sang every great toddler song with her and pointed out the various fruits and vegetables in the store. I came home to a great dinner, all created while watching a very active toddler. Amazing.
We just celebrated our wedding anniversary and while I am very happy as me, C, and Wonderdog (and while part of me is relishing our flexibility and adult time as non-parents ), I can’t wait for C to be singing to our baby in the car and pointing out whatever they might be happening to see and making dinner (or not, because toddlers are not always so cheerful and cooperative). I believe we will both be the parents chatting away with a child too young to really chat, and I am excited for that.
C and I got to spend a major portion of this weekend with our friend August and her child, our godchild, who just turned two. The reason for the extended time together was more than unfortunate, but the time spent together, for me, was precious.
As always when I am with C and any young children, I was repeatedly reassured that I made a fantastic choice of future co-parent. C is endlessly patient, takes time to teach, is not afraid to discipline, and makes normal activities fun. She is steady and certain but still spontaneous and flexible. She thinks creatively to find ways to occupy the mind and body of a very mobile child but holds firm to the limits she has set. In short, she’s wonderful!
And it was a wonderful time! We went shopping, watched tv, took a nap. We ate meals at home and out, visited family, and spent time with the dog. Last night, as a special fun treat (and a way to assess our niece’s ability to thread “beads” on a string), C purchased to-go cups of Fruit Loops and we spend a cheerful few minutes teaching our niece how to put the Fruit Loops on a string. It was her first experience with sugary-sweet cereal and for every one that made it onto the string, several went into her mouth and before we knew it, the ones on the string were gone, too. And because she’s at the age where she is super easily reinforced by the expressions and reactions of others, she was quick to repeat the trick with C’s necklace.
Of course, a little over a day is not really the same as the daily (mis)adventures of parenthood (and that little over a day, with three adults present, was a bit exhausting!), but you know the qualities of a good parent when you see them. And yes, it was bittersweet to spend so much time with a small child while desperately wanting our own, but we love her almost as much as if she were ours, which eased the dull pain of longing.
It was in many ways a completely ordinary weekend. But how better to spend a weekend than to be present with those you love and confidently recognizing just how much more that love can grow?
… to my wife, who through the past two weeks has been going through the same but different emotional roller coaster yet has been incredibly supportive to me at the same time. She generally has words of wisdom that are good to hear (even if I don’t want to hear them) and has pushed us forward even when I wanted to lay in bed all day. She has encouraged me to look forward even as I continue to hope for this cycle and has listened to my fears and concerns over and over again even when she could probably recite them verbatim.
After reading the stories of so many other women, I somehow still did not realize that even this one, first, 20% chance (or less) cycle would be so difficult, not relative to the difficulties that so many others have had (c’mon, it’s one cycle and we’re not even out of the game yet!) but certainly relative to my own expectations. C is able to see both the relative and the big picture and be a stabilizing force in each.
So, in the midst of the angst and worry and hope and fear, a moment for C, who is also facing angst and worry and hope and fear with the kind of grace and strength I hope to emulate through the rest of this try and through any other try.
(Can you believe this is the last of 15 questions? 15 weeks have gone right on by! Perhaps I will come up with one more for next week since the week after should be the beginning of a whole new adventure)
At the point we are at now, it seems that this question sort of puts the cart before the horse, since we need a child (or at least more than a glimmer) before we get started on it. We are fortunate to live in a second-parent adoption state and may be supported by the fact that we are also legally married. I’ve heard that it is even possible that C might be able to be listed on the birth certificate, saving us a LOT of time and trouble.
I think the more important thinking for us right now is the fact that we will be the parents, rather than the donor. And trying to move away from the norms of the male involved being “dad.” I have spoken those words (“the dad”), thinking only biologically without really considering the implications of that word on C, who, just by virtue of not carrying feels somewhat left out and is concerned about her role.
I understand the thinking and can imagine standing in her shoes. But to me, this child is already ours, not because of genetics but because of our hopes and dreams, the way we are preparing ourselves and our home, and the way we are preparing our small family to become a little bigger. Knowing C, I am actually fairly convinced that the bigger problem will be when the baby bonds so quickly to her, leaving me to wonder who exactly did the carrying for 9 months 😛
If we fail at second parent adoption, we will do what we have done as “failures” of legal marriage in our state. We will gather paperwork, talk to our friends and family, make sure that we have copies of everything ever, and suck it up for the well-being of our child. Just as with marriage, a piece of paper feels nice and gets you a lot (if your state recognizes it) but otherwise says nothing about the quality of or love within your relationship.