Saturday, March 10, 2007

How Many Children?

It used to be such a simple question. Akin to regular or decaf coffee, cash or credit, paper or plastic? Now a whole debate occurs in my head in the seconds between the question is asked and when I answer. A series of qualifications go through my head; will I ever see this person again, what do I gain in telling this person my story, am I strong enough today to get through the story, do I want to watch this person's face go from inquisitive to sympathy, how much time do I have to explain my story?

Today its the grocer and I smile politely, "3, 2 boys and a girl". But yesterday it was a fellow twin mom. I knew I couldn't ignore my twin sons with a reminder of what they would have been staring me in the face. I answer, "3 living children, and twins sons in heaven". I can't be this woman's friend with a lie between us. I must acknowledge my sons. Another day friends are talking about their pregnancy and I say, "when I was pregnant with the twins . . . "

Another day its a stranger in Target. I was feeling like I needed to aknowledge them that day. So I answer again, "3 living children, and a set of twins in heaven." Her reaction is obvious. She is so upset by this news. Now I am consoling her. Why do I have to console this woman? I find myself saying things like, "its okay, it was last year. I am alright now."

Now I am so careful when asking women seemingly easy questions. I know how much pain I endure with such a simple question. No one knows the debate in my head as I remember my sons and pray that they know I have not forgotten them when I answer, "just 3".

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