My daddy gave me the greatest gift yesterday. It came about in the most unexpected of ways. I’d called to ask whether, or not he’d gotten my Father’s Day card yet (he hadn’t) so we started talking about other things.
Before we get into how the conversation evolved, let me preface it with a few interesting rules & facts of our family.
Every family has rules. Some of those rules aren’t exactly written down & posted in an entry way. They are the rules in the, “mom stare.” The looks that don’t need explanation & knowingly mean you best stop whatever it is you are doing.
-In our family we do not do feelings. We don’t talk about them, unless of, course they’re positive. Feelings are something that are pushed down & hidden with a smile…..&, a lot of the time, drugs & alcohol on their part.
I’ve probably cried in front of my dad twice in my adult life. The first time, he thought I needed to be in a hospital because, after years of numbing any sort of feelings he was having, he had no idea what to do when someone else was having them. It was an oh, shit moment at it’s finest.
The second time, he made me take a Valium because I needed to, “Calm down.”
Are you getting that the guy hasn’t exactly been sentimental all these years? Okay, good.
-Fact number two: When I was a 9, my dad left home for a year to live with one of his many whores. During that time, we didn’t see much of him. I saw him three times that year. Once was on my Birthday when I was in my last body cast. He’d hurriedly came through the front door at my Birthday party holding my gift, handed it to me, kissed me goodbye, & went out just as quickly as he’d came in. The second time, we went to see Tarzan together. The last time he picked us up for a few hours, he took my sister & I to some county fair where we all rode those super safe carnival rides.
-Apologies usually follow with excuses.
-Current fact: Before I’d called him, I’d downed a giant Margarita. A few years ago, this wouldn’t have mattered as I inherited my family’s alcoholism gene. Well, being on fertility drugs & trying to have babies, today is a different day lol Days where I had not had alcohol on the regular & it hit me a lot harder than I’m now use to…& lasted the rest of the night. Who knew I’d ever be a light weight? Papaw would role over in his grave on that one.
Back to the story, he hadn’t gotten his card yet. We talked for a while & then he mentioned my sister had talked to him earlier that day & said she would’ve thought I would’ve visited more with my nephew being born. He went on to say he told her I’d been working a lot & probably just didn’t have the time. I chimed in with, for one, it was costing us an arm & a leg on my husband’s new insurance every month to see any sort of doctor/specialist. Adding, the fact that we have to pay 100% of any & all fertility treatment/testing, is not helping us at the moment.
& then he shared his thoughts on the subject…a very emotional subject.
“If this time doesn’t work, I don’t want you to do any more of it. I don’t think you need to worry about that other thing (IVF) right now. It’s too dangerous.”
Shocked & drunk, I gave my two cents back. First, I told him I didn’t plan on doing IVF if next week’s upcoming IUI didn’t work & the 3rd didn’t either. Our fertility doc will try IUI like a baseball game, three strikes your out & then to IVF you go. As my hubby & I have already discussed, if the IUI’s don’t work, we planned to foster to adopt until I’m out of grad school. We can always go the IVF route after that.
And then I shared something else (or drunk Cesilee did anyway) that still shocks me….I told him, if weren’t ever able to have biological children, I worried that he wouldn’t love my children as much as my sister’s children. I worried that no one in our families would feel the same way about them & treat them differently-and I didn’t want that. I told him, from my previous experience as a social worker, I knew in my heart I would love my adopted child just as much as I would love any biological child I would ever have….but what I wasn’t sure about is how other people would react. If they didn’t feel the same way I did, it would really hurt me in a new way.
After hearing all of this, he was pretty quick to respond, “What are you worried about? Who cares what other people think about it?”
So I asked a very painful question, one that’s on the mind of anyone struggling with infertility, “But what if we’re never able to have our own children?”
“You know I’d love them the same, however you feel about them is the same way I’ll feel about them.”
We ended this in a John Green sort of way:
“Maybe there’s something you’re afraid to say, or someone you’re afraid to love, or somewhere you’re afraid to go. It’s gonna hurt. It’s gonna hurt because it mattered.” -John Green
Happy Father’s Day, big guy. Thanks, for the best gift you’ve ever given me….on a most unexpected of days.