….That’s what my awesome husband called it so I’ll go’ with it….it sounds a lot better than *pissed off* but because this is my personal diary for reflection and documenting our life (which just happens to be public to the entire world) I am letting it all out. Ok, so to give some background, ever since discovering I was pregnant, I was very reluctant to share it with anyone. I wasn’t quite sure why – I mean, Dean and I were ecstatic, our daughter was ecstatic, our parents were ecstatic, this baby was expected, anticipated, loved into existence & that’s just not like me – I love all things baby. Pregnant bellies, newborn smells, baby clothes, you name it. Well, now I see why. Looking back over the past several weeks, I see that my Lord was totally protecting my emotions and guarding my heart. I can only imagine what would have happened had I called every friend, every relative and shared it with every stranger I encountered at the grocery store (or um, neighbor) to proclaim my excitement.
Ok, so coming back to the reason for this
venting post. Today, was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I was taking a walk around our block with the girls. Alizea was on her bike proclaiming with the utmost excitement that “this day” she wanted to take her training wheels off and learn to ride her bike like a big girl! I was such a proud mommy 🙂 I was pushing Genevieve in that little car-with a handle-thing as she would say every few minutes “walk, walk”. The birds were chirping, the sun was shining, it was a beautiful day! We crossed the street at the end of our cul-de-sac and approached 3 neighbors who were across the street talking. We said “hi” exchanged small chit chat and then after much hesitation but because the timing was appropriate – I can’t remember exactly how it came up, but probably the most common and annoying “So, are you guys done?” question, I shared that I was expecting #4……”ohhhhhhhhh” was the unified response. Not….”ohhhhhh!!!!!” (how exciting) or “ohhhh??????” (wow, that’s gonna be tough but admirable) but “ohhhhhhhhh” almost bordering “ugggggggggggggg” with the most disappointed, disgusted tone I’ve ever heard (no exaggeration. I was completely shocked and appalled) Then, before I could even really process or judge their intentions, I was bombarded with comments that added any and all clarity to the potentially misinterpreted “oohhhhhhh”. “What does Dean say about this?” as if I was behind this mastermind and he was coerced into my evil plan….and before I could even process an answer, another…”We need to take you to the Dr’s” and another….”yeah, or to the pound to get your neutered” I’m not joking people and the funny (or sad) part was … I was the only one chuckling nervously waiting for the “just kidding, congrats” but nothing…..they just continued on conversing as if I wasn’t even there or hadn’t even shared that a brand new soul was coming into this world. Their world…..I simply said “Cmon Genevieve, say goodbye” (good thing she ever so sweetly, ever so innocently waved and said “bye-bye” because I certainly couldn’t), and turned and walked away. “Wow”, I thought. “That was pretty rude. And these are grown adults? Don’t they have manners? Talk about being animal-like! Really? You’re going to compare me to a dog because I love my husband and happen to believe that God wants us to be open and cooperate with His plan for creation. Have we ever heard of a thing called dignity? Uh, and I guess they’ve never heard of the most basic, elementary code of etiquette: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say it at all” I have never experienced so many emotions before (or not in a very long time). shock, sadness, disappointment, anger, pity, confusion, to name a few. I came home and since Dean was at the store, told the other person I knew would understand completely and tell me exactly what I needed to hear…. and she did… and she made me laugh & helped me to let go of all those emotions …(Oh, I love you Nini) …at least for awhile. But they came back and were stirring up within me so strongly while I was doing dishes that I knew I had to write to really let it go and give their awful attitudes toward children and awful responses over to God. Because it was bigger than them. They are a representation of a larger group of people. I mean, okay, I can handle the courtesy “oh congratulations” when I can see through the tone of voice and body language or their tight jawed forced smile that it’s slightly less than heartfelt. I respect that because they are doing the right thing. They may not fully understand it. They may not agree with our philosophy of children and openness to life. They may be jealous or pity us or feel sorry for us. Whatever the case may be, they are being respectful and polite by choosing to say the right thing. I get that. I’ve done the same thing. We all have. But this?!?!?! This was just flat-out inappropriate, rude, offensive and uncalled for. It was the first time that I wanted to go. Move. Far away. To a neighborhood filled with “large” (did you know anything more than 2.5 – how is that possible anyway?- is considered large) families. But the truth is, that place doesn’t exist and even if it did, it wouldn’t solve anything. I’ve talked to enough moms, old college friends who live in small towns, heck, my grandma who raised her kids 40-50 years ago and guess what??? They get (or got) the same thing. The very same comments and jaded, bitter attitudes. The feeling as if they are doing something wrong and pregnancy is a disease! Heck, even my friends with 1 or 2 children get the comments “Wow, you’ve got your hands full!” What the hell does that mean anyway? Usually when I respond with my automatic “Yep, full of blessings” I can tell what it was they really meant. I’ll get the half-smile, roll of the eyes or the silent dumbfounded look and on a rare occasion the glorious, “Yes” or “You’re right. Congratulations!”
So the question I am left with is “WHAT AM I SUPPOSED to do or say in those situations?” Specifically, the one today. The tough ones. Sure, I’ve come up with several possible responses in hindsight I wish I would’ve been witty enough to use: “Hey, don’t take it out on me that you, Mr., have an unhappy marriage and whose wife comes whining to me about your extreme selfishness and suspected unfaithfulness” Or “Hey, you wanna know if we’re done, lady?! We’re done when your sons are done having babies with different mama’s who can’t commit to one of them. It’s not my fault your view of relationships and children is anything but responsible and healthy and loving!” But I’m pretty sure that’s NOT what Christ would want me to say or what He would’ve said to them. 😉 No, but I also don’t think I am supposed to say nothing and walk away letting them continue on in their ignorance. I asked Dean and he agreed and reminded me that it’s one of the spiritual works of mercy’s to educate the ignorant. Ok, so what then? well, after some prayer, some ideas came to mind that were much more….
diplomatic charitable, shall we say? “A simple congratulations would suffice” or “Children are a blessing to us and a gift from God and please don’t judge just because you don’t see life the way we do”. The bottom line was this was a reminder to me to always be on guard. Always be in prayer. Always be ready. The truth is I didn’t spend much time in prayer this morning. And guess what? Because of that, I failed at an opportunity to be a light to the world. To be bold and courageous. To allow the Holy Spirit to speak through me. Yes, I know, my life is already a louder-than-words witness of the truth and I will have plenty of future opportunities, these are, after all our neighbors, but it was a good slap in the face, wake up call to me that we are to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) in the most literal sense because we do have enemies. Several actually: that being our flesh, the world (or horribly rude neighbors who say hurtful things) and the Devil himself. How do I expect to win the battles with these enemies without putting on my armor each and everyday and really, expecting such opposition? Every. Single. Day.
But this wasn’t the end of the story. No, God never fails and He always provides for His faithful. Dean was talking to our next door neighbor as they both did some yard work out front and shared about our upcoming child and also my disappointing encounter. He was so excited for us and filled with such empathy that he and his wife, together, came over later that evening to surprise me with a bouquet of flowers, chocolate and a beautiful card. I was so touched that they would make the effort to go to the store, pick out a card, write such a beautiful message and come over united to offer their sincere (because they’ve experienced it first-hand) excitement and plenty of hugs and jokes to make me laugh! The card read: For the Parents To Be, a precious new life, a world of wonder and possibility. A love like you’ve never known before. Wishing you joy and excitement as you look forward to the birth of your new little one. “Dear Dean & Marisa, Congratulations on #4! That child will be so lucky to come to wonderful parents like you. Keep them coming! We need more kids raised in righteous families like yours. Marisa – you remind me of Proverbs 31:10 “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies!'” What a blessing to have wonderful neighbors like you! God bless your cute family!” Ps – Erin says chocolate makes everything better. 😉 ~ Ken & Erin.
Um, talk about consolation?! Talk about restoring my hope in mankind!
And so, I’m finally coming to terms with the reality that thanks to the sex revolution, the acceptance of contraception and legalization of
murder abortion, the message that sex is simply a means of self seeking, self serving pleasure and the individual is the ultimate authority has seeped into the attitudes and mindsets of the poorly formed average (yet “responsible” laced in sarcasm) citizen. I’m really seeing how hearts have been hardened. True beauty has been lost. And that children are no longer seen as blessings. Ok, maybe if you’ve got 1 boy and 1 girl but that’s it. Any more and my little breathing, walking, talking gifts are viewed as burdens by the general public. They are annoying obstacles to pursue a horribly dull, selfish, lifestyle ruining all plans of a ‘perfect ideal’. But please, inform me how the fornicating, STD-transferring single having lustful sex purely for recreational purposes that is so commonplace today is more “responsible” than having (many) children in the context of a loving, Christian home?! I just find it ironic that most of the “large families” do not ask for government assistance, do not spend tax payers dollars on contraceptives and most do not even use it for public education? Ah, we’re so twisted! Sigh.
And to the people who act like you’re so sorry I have to live such a miserable life chained to my kids and my home. Please, don’t. be. sorry. for me. I happen to enjoy getting smothered in hugs, kisses and “I love you’s” all day long. I happen to enjoy hearing my kids squeal for joy and excitement upon seeing a sibling after a whole 2 hour nap or run into daddy’s arms when he gets home from work. I happen to honor my husband who is hard-working, who picks up the slack and does dinner and dishes and makes baby food because I am feeling horribly nauseous and tired. I happen to find time to read, relax, take walks and have quality conversations with good friends. I happen to experience a pure love that is clearly missing from your life.
Ok, I feel all better. 😉
Thank you, dear diary.