I’m not making some bold, feminist stance or anything.
It’s because of my broken uterus. Or fallopian tubes. Or ovaries. Or something. We don’t actually know, but something is misfiring and it’s not Jeremy. How boring. We’re never having kids, not as an active choice but just because kids won’t come. Maybe they’re afraid of what kind of mother I’ll be. I worry about that sometimes too. I take things real personal sometimes.
Today, I came down to lunch duty which I share with our security guard, Lisa. I was clearly distraught from another successive bad day of teaching students that don’t really like me all that well. I carried in my shoulders, my eyebrows, my heart the childlessness that keeps me coming back as a teacher day after day, and keeps me from being what I desperately want to be right now–which is mom.
Lisa The Security Guard is from Trinidad, and she’s a sharer. By about day three of our lunch duty tenure, she was already talking about her own time spent at the fertility clinics way back when, before her little baby was finally born 8 years ago. It took me about a month to tell her that we, too, were having some sort of struggle. I look young; I get judged, I get diminished.
“You’re young, what, 23, 24? What’s the rush?”
“You’re a career woman! What do you want babies for?”
Or, my recent favorite: “What do you need babies for, your students are your babies!”
Lisa has never diminished. Lisa understands.
Today she saw it–my childlessness–which I hide like a scar, which I’ve held close to my chest, which I’ve deliberately abstained from mentioning on my blog mostly because my students tend to invade this space and there’s somethings you want to keep just for you (be classy, students, don’t tell your friends.). But it’s heavy to carry, not heavy like a baby in your tummy, but heavy like a backpack filled with rocks that just get heavier every new month your expensive, time-consuming, thoroughly unromantic medical procedures didn’t work out.
Lisa saw it today, and before I knew it and without asking, she had her head bowed and her eyes closed and her hand on mine. Lisa prayed to Lord Jesus that he would “open my womb” for the baby that I’ve been waiting for all this time. Her prayers sounded different than mine–thick with an accent from Trinidad, a little bolder, with a little more conviction and a little less timidity. She’s articulating like it’s a foregone conclusion that I’m having kids. All the while, Lisa’s praying for me while the freshmen swipe in and out, leaving and coming back for lunch.
Damnit, if it wasn’t the nicest thing.
I’ve made a pact with myself that I wouldn’t force myself into a happy ending, I wouldn’t demand a silver lining. Sometimes, things are just sad, and more recently I’ve discovered that that’s ok. But Lisa made me feel today, maybe just for one fleeting day, like “Never” is maybe more like “some day,” and someday, baby will come.