Bridal Showers

The problem with Orthodox women is that it seems like they are perpetually pregnant.

I never thought this was a problem before.  I used to think it was great that everyone was having babies and creating new life, new people to share our beautiful world with.

Now every time someone is pregnant or has a baby, I feel like I am pushed further out of the circle.  “Where’s your baby?  Why aren’t you one of us?” their eyes seem to ask.

No one else has heartbreaks.  We were the first family with an infant loss in decades, as far as anyone could remember.  And those women went on to fulfill their quotas.

It is strange and shocking how deeply I grieve my own babies whenever I am in proximity to a pregnant woman or newborn babies.  Especially when I know the people.

I was at a bridal shower today, and it was painful.  More pregnant women (for one, it is her eighth), more babies (the fourth for one, the ninth for another–her eldest daughter was married last summer and her eldest son is the groom-to-be), and the mandatory jokes about how long before the peace will be shattered in the newlyweds’ home before the children arrive.  All I could think of about those jokes was how this “peace” they were talking about was a lot more likely to reign with living children than dead ones.  The death of a child is a hard, hard thing on a marriage.  As much as we have grown closer and clung to one another, “peace” is not a word I would use to describe what the death of our firstborn brought to our home.  We would have a much more peace-filled home if he were in it.

A couple of years ago, I was in her shoes.  I had the bridal shower with all of the pregnant women in attendance, all of the jokes about the babies we were going to have (and how our first would be about nine months after the wedding, which my well-meaning bridesmaid was just about right on).  I wish I had that carefree feeling still, that hope.  I see this bride-to-be sitting there amid the jokes and love and know she will probably not have to experience any of this.  Maybe I will be the only one.  But it still always makes me fear for the newlyweds, that they will face some sort of devastation as we did.

But, like just about everyone else, they will probably have a healthy baby by this time next year.


The end of a chapter

Today was my last day at the library. Next week, I start a new adventure at a CPA firm consistently voted best 100 places to work (and top 100 places to work for women).

I am thankful for my time at the library (despite the slew of bad experiences I had) to teach me the unique importance of the existence of libraries. Even though I jokingly say I “grew up” in a library, reading every book that interested me and spending hours upon hours of my homeschool years camped out at the library to study and explore the shelves, I never realised until working there how valuable they are for our communities.

I often received comments from others scoffing the need for libraries today in our “high-tech” world–a world where so many hardly ever pick up a real book. Yet these people obviously have not walked into a library lately since there are so many more materials available than hard copies of books. Check out your local library and you will find yourself amazed at the resources available to you–resources like genealogy tools, language-learning tools, access to prominent newspapers, and more than I could possibly list! Besides, reading keeps your mind sharp, so while you’re taking advantage of all of the online tools that your tax dollars are already paying for, pick up a book and learn how to do something new, remember how to imagine, explore a time period far in the past.

I am glad to be going to a new opportunity to use my knowledge and skills, but I will continue to be passionate about library services–even though I can no longer say I am employed at one.

In some ways, it’s bittersweet.  In other ways, it’s just plain great to be moving on, with a head full of knowledge.  I keep looking at my son’s picture and saying, “This is for you.  Everything is for you.”  I want the change that I am living today to be because of and always dedicated to him.  Too many bad things have happened in the last year; it’s time to forge a new road with new opportunities, new room for growth, and, most of what I long for–new hope.


Why are decision so hard?

I made what turned into a hard decision, strangely.

I applied for a job I really wanted, and got it.  So when I went to resign, at one of my jobs, my employer offered me full-time hours at a higher rate than what the new job was offering me (I have worked half-time for four years).  It is comfortable to stay, so I let the new job know.  They countered with a higher rate, which really surprised me.

Every time I thought I picked which one was the “right” decision, I second-guessed myself.  My husband and I have gone back and forth on it for a week now.  I have driven myself half mad over it.  I’ve turned this into the biggest decision of my life, upon which all other things rest.

Neither option was the “obvious” choice.  Both had pros and cons.

I ultimately chose the new job, deciding I need something new, I need to be somewhere I can use my talents and skills as well as learn something new.  Where I am now, I will not be challenged to grow and learn.

I have developed a deep fear of failing, and I know that if I stay where I am, I won’t likely fail.  I know my job too well.  This new job is, well, new.  I could fail.  Maybe I’m not actually worth the money they’re offering me.  Maybe instead of 40 years, I will only be able to give them a year or two of my life.  I don’t know anything about the future.

I feel a deep guilt over leaving my current job–especially since they said they could double my hours since they want to keep me.  And instead I’m going to do something new and unknown instead.

It’s stupid that I’ve spent all afternoon crying about the decision I made.  I didn’t want to see a good opportunity go and regret it forever, like I have about some things.

I hope that a month from now I am glad I made the decision I made.  I have been asking God for guidance and help, and this is what He kept shoving me towards.  So all I can do is leave it up to Him to help me find peace about this decision–especially since starting a new career feels like putting motherhood on hold for a while.  And I neither want to do that, nor do I feel like I can afford to, with my track record.