There are pivotal times in life when I feel you just need your mom and dad. At 32 years old I’ve gone through seasons where my parents couldn’t be what I needed them to be and vice versa and have tasted the bitterness of having no family at all. Despite the absence of family on my wedding day and other key moments, there are some shoes that no one else can fill and some days when your mom and dad are supposed to be there.
Relishing over the joys of a babe coming into the world is one of those days to me. Since we miscarried I’ve had a tug on my heart to tell my parents about the pregnancy and update them on where we were at. My relationship with them has been progressing into something that could be healthy and I was convicted at keeping another secret from them. How could I continue to pour into my new relationship with my parents and hold this huge, monumental piece back? I needed to be vulnerable and open and hope that they would reciprocate it. All this recent talk on vulnerability from Brené Brown was really getting to me.
The Wife was skeptical of this conversation I wanted to have with my parents. She, being the ever protector, bore the scars that my parents caused and wasn’t as quick to glaze over them as I have been. And still she wanted to honor whatever this urging was.
A few nights ago when driving home from work, Mom and Dad called and after catching up a bit, we found ourselves discussing a family member who was newly pregnant. A perfect segue to this pain that was on the tip of my tongue. I took a deep breath, and began.
“I have something really important to tell you and I’m terrified,” I said as I burst into tears. They admonished me with love and support and asked what it was, as I responded, “I’m about to tell you something incredibly painful and I need to simply be your child in this moment and I need you to simply be my mom and dad.” The words then poured out of my mouth in eloquent ways and I didn’t cry too much and they responded with grace and love and empathy and over the phone I could tell that their hearts were broken from this loss as well.
They were sad for The Wife and I. They were sorry we were hurting. And they were sad they didn’t know. Dad wanted to know when we were going to try next and seeing how he loves the babies in his life I wasn’t surprised. Mom was not as quick and explained that this made her uncomfortable. I told her it was ok.
As we ended the conversation they reminded me again that they will always love me no matter what and that nothing will ever change that. I’m still skeptical and the wounds they’ve caused from relinquishing their parental love still hurt sometimes. But it’s so good to hear them say it again and again and again and maybe I need to hear it one hundred more times for it to really sink in.
I don’t know how they will respond tomorrow and if things will change but today I fully recognize the power of all of this. That I was vulnerable with them and they met me with love and empathy. And while they’re not fully supportive of who I’ve become today I am ok with what they are offering as I understand it’s the best they can offer right now.
And I’m hopeful for continued movement and that someday things can morph into full support and affirmation of me and The Wife and our little family.
You make beautiful things out of dust.