Posted by Duff

Fitz’s post yesterday makes it necessary for me to break from our regularly scheduled Momgenius segment to talk about something we all have in common:

We’re all on the other side of someone else’s coin.

I am lucky that I’ve never struggled with infertility. I can’t believe how lucky, actually, when I think how common an occurence it is. So, if I’m honest with myself, I don’t know what it’s like. Or what could be considered hurtful or insensitive to someone who isn’t as fortunate as I am.

What I do know if how I feel when someone points out to me how they’re coasting effortlessly through something that has caused me tears or sleepless nights or mountains of self-doubt that obscure my optimism.

When I was pregnant with The Dervish, I had a bit of nausea. Nothing unmanageable, but for this emetophobe, not pleasant. And I remember mentioning it to someone, who said, “I didnt have morning sickness. It’s all in your head.” She is lucky she didn’t say that to my sister-in-law, who was hospitalized several times for hyperemesis gravidarum and went on to get pregnant again. In my eyes, a heroic gesture. More lucky stars counted over here.

But I don’t think I would be nearly as aware of how important it is to dial myself down toward others in times of my own ease if I hadn’t been dialed down by circumstances myself.

The day (and for days/weeks/months after) you get bad news, or you lose someone you love, or you’re surprised by life in a way previously unfathomable, it seems impossible that the world still spins on its axis for others. Because it has stopped for you.  How is it that people are going to work? Lining up at drive-thrus. Arguing about a bounced check, chores undone, politics. How can that be?

On a day like that, you never think to argue about dirty socks on the floor. You wouldn’t care if all the socks in town were dirty and on your floor if the thing you didn’t want to happen could just unhappen, please.

You wouldn’t walk into an ultrasound focused on gender determination. But why would you expect bad news if you’d never gotten it?

You wouldn’t fight with someone if you knew your time with them was limited. But you never know just how much (or how little) time you have.

You wouldn’t say, “I’m surprised this is hard for you. It was so, so easy for me.” Not if you knew how hurtful it would seem. Or that one day, that very same person whose dfficulty you couldn’t comprehend would be calling ‘heads’ to your ‘tails’. And that time, your side lands face down.

It’s okay, and still grateful on our parts, not to commemorate our glad tidings with ticker tape parades while spectators struggle. Struggling spectators rarely have the strength to wave and cheer, even if they want to.

It’s fine to postpone the balloons and floats a few days and give a few hugs to those who would cheer us on. To be their fans instead.

There will be plenty of time for us to celebrate.