Wednesday, August 24, 2011

the well-intentioned sucker punch

I love Sunday morning for all the right reasons:  worship, sermon, fellowship, etc.  But I'll admit that I also get a big kick out of getting to show my kid off every Sunday.

My son may be barely 2, but he's charming and outgoing.  Everyone seems to know this kid, even if they don't know me or my husband.  He's just that type of toddler.

So it was no surprise when we were walking in this past Sunday that everyone was greeting him and giving him high-fives.  One very nice woman who was greeting stopped me to tell me how sweet and adorable my son is.  I thanked her, and was about to move on my way when she hit me with, "Isn't it time for another one?"

Bam.  The well-intentioned sucker punch.

Of course, this poor lady doesn't know that I lost half my reproductive organs to tumors, or that my husband and I have been trying (unsuccessfully) to get pregnant for eight months now.  The woman talking to me about my son was just making friendly conversation, with no ill will or malice intended.

It also doesn't help that there seems to be something in the water that is impregnating every married woman in the church who is not me.  Seriously.  Everywhere you turn, women are sporting big round bellies or toting newborns in carseat carriers.  It's not uncommon to see a lady trying to balance a barely toddling baby on one hip with her balance thrown-off by the big baby bump in front of her.  We could qualify for a church group discount on double strollers.

Then the guest speaker had to mention how his wife was due to give birth to their fourth child any day now, though his oldest was only four.  He joked about becoming a minivan driver and my fake smile felt like it was cracking my face.  I drive a subcompact, and it's plenty of space for myself and my one miniature passenger.

It doesn't help that my son would be such a great big brother.  Just the night before, we had been at our neighborhood clubhouse for a luau.  The lifeguards were off-duty, so no one was allowed to swim in the pool.  It didn't matter much to the adults because there were free drinks and free (amazing) food catered in from Lucky 32.  To the kids, however, the empty pool was a huge temptation.

Fortunately, my son is incredibly food-motivated, so after being told we couldn't go swimming, he was pretty content to hang out and eat.  His younger cousin, however, isn't even 1 1/2, so she was a little more focused on the water.

There were plenty of adults around keeping an eye on the kids, so when she tried to dart towards the water, no one really panicked.  She has short little baby legs, and we have long grown-up legs, so stopping her would be no problem.

However, it turned out it wouldn't necessary.

My son, seeing his younger cousin in peril, immediately sprang into action.  He raced in front of her, cutting her off from the water like a herding sheepdog.  "No," he instructed her.  She tried to dart around him, he stepped in front of her again.  "No water."

Of course, once he realized he could keep her away from the water and that she wasn't in any real danger, he started to enjoy the opportunity to be the bossy older cousin.  Hey, he's 2.  But it was still so sweet how his immediate concern was for her safety, and how quickly his protective instincts kicked in.

Last night we ate dinner with them, and he played so sweet and nicely with his cousin, even sharing his beloved "Gravedigger" toy truck.  I know he could be so wonderful with a younger sibling he was around all the time.

But that's not to be, at least not yet.  So I'll grin and bear through the "When are you having another one?"s and "He wants to be a big brother"s.  Until our time comes.

And if that time doesn't come, there's enough babies all over the place at church that I could probably swipe one without anyone noticing.

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