Monday, April 5, 2010

Outside of Myself

Most articles I read about Child Free Living After Infertility (CFLAI?) propose that you can still have children in your life and feel fulfilled. Usually the idea is that becoming involved with nieces or nephews or children of friends will be a salve for all your barren wounds. I have to admit that idea is a little too Pollyanna for me right now. I can't imagine a niece or a nephew or a friend's child making me feel any better about my situation. Of course I have no nieces or nephews and I have pretty much cut off contact with fertile friends by this point, so who knows.

Tony has a favorite student at school, a special needs girl named K. K is severely disabled. She can't speak, uses a wheelchair, and no one knows how much she understands. Tony takes time out of his day to rock her or takes her outside for a walk to watch the kids playing in gym class. She smiles when she hears the sound of his voice.

Tony has been asking me to sew something for her, so this weekend I made her a bag. I've made a few of these for friends and family. They are the size and shape of those reusable shopping bags that I seem to grab for time and again whenever I have to tote anything from here to there.



I don't know if it was the sewing or if all those articles are on to something, but making this bag felt good*.

*or I just wanted to show off a new bag I made.

27 comments:

Mols said...

What a beautiful thing to do - it is gorgeous. Oh, and my heart melted with your mention of Tony rocking her and taking her for walks. What a wonderful man he is :-)

inBetween said...

Wonderful bag! I'm totally impressed.

What those people forget, when giving the advice to love someone else's child as a surrogate, is that you don't get those intimate snuggle moments, or the kid clinging to your leg for security, or to hear the word "momma" spoken to your face. THAT's what I long for, amongst other things.

I think rocking little K is wonderful, and perhaps as close to "kid snuggling" as us IFers can get to someone else's child.

loribeth said...

LOVE the bag!! I think sometimes it's easier to do these things for a child that we don't know or know as well. Time helps too. But fulfillment through other people's kids? I dunno.

BIL once told dh, "You'll always have the boys (his two sons, our nephews)." Well, thanks, but no. We adore our nephews, but our relationship with them, great as it is, does not come anywhere close to making up for the lack of our own child in our lives.

Melissa G said...

What a lovely and thoughtful gift for someone in need.

And I appreciate your gesture even more because of what it meant to you.

(LOVE the bag btw)

the misfit said...

That bag is AWESOME. My understanding is that people say that because in the long run (i.e., over the whole of life), being a healthy human generally requires being invested with all the generations of humanity - the very small and also the very old - even if they don't live in your household. (I remember going to the mall occasionally in college and suddenly being surprised to see small children and old people - probably because our 18-to-22-only college community was a little disorienting.) And I think this theory probably has merit. HOWEVER. That does not mean that I am prepared to go from "I'm going to have babies of my own someday" to "no I'm not but I'd love to play with your babies!" in a day. Or a year. Possibly, not in a decade. That is no easy transition. So maybe it's a good "someday" goal - but the idea that other people's children would be a good immediate salve for the wounds of someone who has just crossed over to the "never" camp strikes me as, well, to say the least, delusional about human nature. Ain't gonna happen with me.

(Though I think your husband has the right idea - children who clearly need your love, to whom there is something you can give, are a much more sensible choice than the spoiled and petted children of middle class suburbia, who sometimes seem to exist only to give their parents occasion to annoy others, and who need nothing so much as a good smack.)

Karen Siddiqi said...

I make glass beads (hot torch does wonders for aggression management!) and each month when my period starts, I make a new "Infertilibead"...like you, it somehow feels good. It's no replacement for a kid, but it's somehow cathartic for me. I like channeling the energy I otherwise spend on disappointment into something tangible...something I DO have control over. Feel free to wander over to my blog and check them out. I just made one tonight, but it's still in the kiln. That makes for three of them since I started this...which makes me about 24 beads behind if I had done it from the start of this process.

lastchanceivf said...

I love that bag!! Very nice work indeed.

Amanda said...

Love the bag!
I have 2 nieces and I love them like my own kids. (Sometimes I even pretend they are mine.)

areyoukiddingme said...

What a lovely bag! I'm sure she'll appreciate it. Doing some small good thing for others always feels good, no matter who or why.

I don't know if it's possible to satisfy your parenting urge with other people. I was actually wondering about that concept in relation to you this weekend. I suspect this falls in the category of "you'll never know until you try." I'd say, be open to the idea without chasing down random strangers. :)

Jennifer said...

I love the bag. I do not have the talent of sewing so I am of course jealous. :)

I don't think it's the same. I am around kids all the time as a teacher and with all of our friends with kids. We see our niece and nephews too and I adore them. I was there when my sister gave birth to my nephew and I love him to pieces, but as much I love him and some of the other children in my life...it's not the same to me. It never will be. Maybe for some it is, but I know I'm not one of those people.

mybumpyjourney said...

I love the bag! It is so pretty!
Your DH is a sweet man. {{{HUGS}}}

Jammie J. said...

Ummmm, no. Involvement in other people's children's lives do not fulfill a barren womb, or wound. Synonymous, really.

I have two nephews whom I adore. But holding them, hearing them breathe, feeling their little hearts beat, or seeing their little eyes look up at me, watching them play together, makes my heart ache and my throat swell.

Not the same and will never be the same as having my own.

You are very creative and useful. I'm sure she'll love it.

(hugs)

Jammie J. said...

The bag is useful I mean. You are creative.

Heidi said...

You should start selling bags like that!

Having nieces and nephews and active in friends childrens lives does not fill that hole in your heart for children of your own. DH and I are active with nieces and nephews and "auntie and uncle" to many friends childrens and it just makes that longing for our own so much worse!

Bookerson said...

What a wonderful thing to do. I am sure k will love it.

I am not sure if other kids can fulfill you, like your own. It didn't really for me, only made me more wistful for my own. Whether 'my own' was through adoption, or donor eggs. My way happened to be donor eggs.

Sewing always makes me feel good, so keep sewing!

Karen Siddiqi said...

Hey, Megan - thanks for swing by the blog! If you were local, I'd insist we use the Infertili-Beads to make wine glass charms which would see the light of day on a regular basis as we craft and imbibe away our infertility blues! Okay, okay, no I don't encourage drinking as a coping mechanism...usually. ;)

Illanare said...

A gorgeous bag and a wonderful gift.

Alice said...

That bag rocks! And, you and DH are so thoughtful.

I get what you're saying about other people's kids. That will never do it for me.

tasivfer said...

What a gorgeous bag!! Creating things sometimes does help. She will love this!

Meg. said...

This post made me cry, for a number of reasons.

I'm frustrated for you and DH. I'm frustrated that anyone could think that occasional visits with other people's children could somehow cure your pain.

And I'm in awe of you and DH. You both have touched this little girl's life, and that's priceless.

kayvi said...

nice and cute bag, where u get it from?

strongblonde said...

so he sounds great. seriously.

i am also so jealous of your talent. i have a sewing machine that i actually asked for one year as a gift but it has never even been out of the box. in fact, i'm not even sure where it is!! lol!

i LOVE the bag!

xx

Baby bump bound said...

Damn I wish I knew you IRF! I swear we'd be BFFs.
You have a tender heart and a beautiful soul. I sew too and your bag is lovely... I am thinking etsy!

MelissaP05 said...

That's an amazing bag! Can't wait to see your next project.

Lisa said...

i love the bag and the idea and thought behind it. both you and your dh are wonderful, caring people.

HS @ Our Debt Blog said...

Same story here :( this no baby stuff sucks!! and all my friends have them ugh! and I also have a golden retriever... sad

HS

Becky said...

I love that bag, perfect size. I always grab those disposable bags too and think I really need a little nicer bag to tote things around everyday. You should sell them on etsy.

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