Today has been a funny old day. I decided to have a day to myself doing something nice rather
than working or doing the usual housework etc! This morning I went to yoga (I thought it would be good to have some relaxation time) and then this afternoon I got my hair cut and blow dried! I LOVE a good blow dry! Sounds great doesn’t it… And don’t get me wrong it was! But do you know what, I think it was the first time since Betty died I have done something like that where I have been out in company I didn’t know! Not that I havn’t been out until now or on my own, but I usually meet friends who know me well or only seem to bump into people who aren’t likely to ask me questions! I’m always out and about. But It was the first time (and it happened several times today) that I have been asked by a stranger ‘how many children do you have?’ ‘Do you think you will have anymore?’. I almost hadn’t thought about this happening so I was taken back a bit by the questions, I found myself lying! I told them about Archie and I just said yes we would like more, but I didn’t go into any detail.
I felt awful as soon as the words left my mouth, why was I hiding Betty? It wasn’t because I am ashamed of her (far from it) I want everyone to know about her – but it’s such a personal thing that I didn’t feel A) the young hairdresser needed to know I have 2 children, but one is dead B) I’m probably going to make her feel bad for asking, how was she to know and she almost certainly wouldn’t have a clue how to react to my response (I know I wouldn’t) well actually I would now, but I wouldn’t have this time last year! And the lady who has just met me for the first time at yoga is definitely just making small talk, it’s not appropriate to bring that up!
In the hairdressers I could hear another woman talking about her new baby, happy, almost smug, so proud of her new baby and the fact she is a new parent, giddy because today is the first time she has left him and that she’s mastered breastfeeding – I was just sat thinking to myself that I’m almost sad I will never have that naivety in pregnancy or after having another child (if it happens) in fact never again. I know we can’t go through life thinking something bad is going to happen, it’s just not the way we are conditioned to think. But I feel like I’ve been robbed of ever enjoying again the lovely feeling of a newborn, I think even if we get another baby I will always be thinking in the back of my mind something might go wrong! But perhaps with time my brain will think differently and I will relax into things!
So… What do I say now when people ask me the question??? Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh I don’t know! Why am I worried about making other people feel uncomfortable! But it’s that line between if your just having a fleeting conversation with someone I can’t go into what happened to us so why bring it up at all! But does this seem like I’m a bad person for not sharing my gorgeous baby girl! I think it will take me a long time yet to know the answer to this! I think for now I just have to go with what feels right at that moment in time and as long as I know in my heart how loved Betty is she isn’t going to mind if I don’t mention her to random people! Wow! Where’s that handbook to life when you need it…