I know I am not the only one in the world who thinks her mother in law is lacking. In wit. In brains. In common sense. In tact. In everything.
Last night I lay awake wondering, once again, how it was possible that my beautiful, loving, intelligent, spiritually competent, sensitive, amazing husband came from her loins. How did such a miracle occur?
She does it every time---she whacks me from some unexpected place that only she possess the key to. I've gotten agile over the years. Seventeen years of practice...and yet, she knocked me over again.
I was on my guard for this visit. I'd been practicing my mental fencing techniques, just to be sure I wouldn't get poked again. I was on my guard. Practiced. Seasoned. Ready. I've gotten pretty adept at fending off abuse over the past few years...since our loss....
When you realize that life is too short to tolerate anything but the best, you have to be prepared to defend your heart. Fragile as it can be, people still can be careless about it...stepping on it as they go their merry way. I've been so lucky to have met amazing people on my journey. People who go above and beyond to love and support me. Wonderful friends. My true family. My sisters and brothers in life. People who understand. I'm married to my best friend. I'm truly blessed.
It is the broken parts...the weak parts...the fragile parts---which I defend the most vehemently.
My mother in law...she was here for Thanksgiving. It's been two years since she was last here. It didn't go very well.
I was pretty good about standing up for myself. For my children. For my husband. In general, if I felt she was out of line, I told her. Again. And Again. And Again. I was kind. I was firm. I was honest. She didn't like it, but the thin line of her lips would close stiffly and she would stop in her tracks. She was obviously trying too.
Hour after hour, I would spend in polite conversation...trying to make things run smoothly while my husband was at work. Trying. Trying.
The effort was exhausting...
The last day of her visit, I must have let my guard down or something...because she nailed me hard.
She was talking about some celebrity. She looooves media life. I know very little about anything in that realm. It's not my thing. Never has been. Even as a young teen, I didn't have posters of the hotties of the day on my walls. Never fell in love with a celebrity. Didn't dream of hooking up with someone rich and famous. Didn't want to BE famous either. So....I don't really care about who did what or who went where or who married who or which loaded billionaire had another baby.
My mother in law, on the other hand, cares A LOT about this. So...she was talking. Very animated. About some famous person...maybe you know who it was...I can't even remember the name. Honestly. I'm totally serious. I was simply nodding and acting like I gave a damn just to keep her happy. But suddenly...in the midst of my nodding and smiling, I suddenly found that her words were clear as a summers day...and they were ripping me apart.
She was going on and on and on about someone who has new twins and all about how cute they were. "Oh Sara! They are the sweetest little twins! I just love twins and always hoped I would have them, but I didn't. Don't you think having twins would be fun?!"
I stood frozen. My rainbow baby in a sling sleeping soundly at my breast. Frozen in time. Frozen in memory. Numb.
Do I think having twins would be fun???? Did she REALLY ask me that?
It took me a moment as I looked at her smiling, completely idiotic, sunburned face to really register that she really had said what I thought she said.
My voice sounded dull to my ears. "Yeah. I would have loved to have had my twins. I would have loved that."
She brightened..not really taking in my reply. "I KNOW! It would be SO fun to have twins!"
She babbled on for the rest of the afternoon. She had no idea what she'd done. No idea. When my husband came home from work, he saw my face and knew right away that something had happened. He told his mom that he wanted to go on a walk with me and asked if she'd watch the boys (who, for the record, don't need a baby sitter anymore.) We put Ferdinand on his leash and headed out for the gully. We walked in silence holding hands.
When we came to our rock...the rock that houses our twins ashes...I sat down and held our little rainbow girl tightly against my chest. I sobbed. And sobbed.
Would I have thought it would be fun to have twins?
Would I have liked twins?
Yeah. Yeah I would have liked that.
My tears fell on the rock. My baby girl nestled into my body...warm and alive.
I have much to be thankful for.
Perhaps, the next time my mother in law comes, I should actually don full body armor...just so she doesn't forget who she is talking to next time.