Friday, May 1, 2009

The Right Thing To Say

Mr. P and I were having a conversation about one of the lovely blogs I have found recently and was reading. I was telling him that she had 2 children VERY far apart in age. This got us discussing friends and family members with same.

As most of our conversations usually do, this one took a quite circuitous route through many, many topics - from age difference in siblings, how old is too old to have children, how many children is enough, etc, etc, etc, just to name a few. It ended up landing upon the topic of accidental pregnancy. You see, Eldest Cherub was not planned. I mean, it's not that we didn't want children ever, but the timing was pretty bad.

Mr. P and I got married relatively young - especially by today's standards. I was 22, he was 25. That is pretty young, considering every 22 year old I see now looks like a BABY to me. We were just starting out in our respective "adulthoods" and we were enjoying life to the fullest.

About 1 year into our matrimonial bliss, I decided that I wanted to quit my job and go back to school -- full-time. Poor Mr. P. He was just starting out with his own Photography Studio and being self-employed and trying to drum up business . . . you know how it goes. But he never batted an eye. "If that's what you want to do, you should do it. We'll figure it out. We'll be OK. We'll make it work"

God Bless Him! So I did exactly that. Within 2 months, I was not only unemployed, but stacking a pile of college bills upon him. Thank God for Dear Mother and Father, they told us that because it was for my "Education", they would help. And "HELP" they did. They paid my tuition and many other incidentals, leaving Mr. P and I with only a few of the smaller expenses. But they were still expenses and Mr. P was still trying to make his business grow. But we were OK. We did it, we figured it out, we made it work.

Then one snowy January evening, Mr. P came home and had a look on his face I had never seen before. Something was wrong. His largest account had closed down, gone bankrupt. Kaput. Finished. His LARGEST paying client. "I'll quit school and go back to work." "No, you really want this, we'll be OK - it's temporary and we'll figure it out, we'll make it work." So I stayed in school, and we were OK, we figured it out, we made it work.

And then IT happened, as January turned into February and February slowly passed . . . I realized it. "OH MY GOD!" Panic "WHAT DAY IS IT?" Panic. "I'M LATE!" Major panic.
"WHAT DO I DO? WHAT DO I DO? WHAT DO I DO?" (You can see what a calm and clear thinker I am in a crisis) So out I went and bought not 1, but 4 pregnancy tests and lo and behold, they all came out positive. EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. And now I had to tell Mr. P.

I remember thinking, "This guy is going to be so pissed he married me. First I quit my job and lose half our income, then I sack a pile of bills on him for school just as he loses his largest client, and now I'm PREGNANT!" I was 24. Mr. P, an elderly 27. But in true Mr. P fashion, he was elated, thrilled. "This is great! Are you sure? When did you take the test? Why didn't you tell me? I'm so happy . . . " "HELLO! Did you not hear what I just said? I. AM. PREGNANT. WITH A BABY!" "No, I thought you were pregnant with a goat . . . of course I heard you. A BABY! WOW! Unbelievable, this is so great." "Um, I'm glad you're so happy, but I'm not working, you just lost a LOT of your income - babies are expensive . . . " etc, etc, etc. And do you know what he said? "I know, it will be tough, but we'll be OK. We'll figure it out. We'll make it work." And we did . . .

So this was where our conversation ended up - the memories of finding out we were pregnant with Eldest Cherub. And apparently, Eldest Cherub heard most of it. I say this, because he quietly entered the room and said, "Mom, was I an accident?"

Let me tell you, hearing those words from Eldest Cherub was one of the closest things to heartbreaking I have ever heard. And I found myself wondering how to answer my oldest child truthfully, honestly and clearly, but letting him know how happy we are that we have him in our world, and that we wouldn't change anything, ever.

And then it was there - out of the clear blue - it just popped into my head. I don't know how. I don't know why. I don't know from where. But there it was - my answer - So simple and true. Honest and forthright and explanatory. All in 6 little words. "No Honey, you were a surprise." I was so proud of myself, what a brilliant response. But Eldest Cherub didn't understand. "Great, a surprise. Same thing as an accident." "No, No, not the same thing at all. An accident is something that happens unexpectedly and you are upset or sad that it happens. A surprise is something that happens unexpectedly and you are thrilled that it happens. So, you see, you were a surprise, NOT an accident."

And VERY slowly, you could see it, he understood. He was happy. He got his answer, but it was good.

We did it. We are OK. We are figuring it out. We are making it work.


Pretty Personal Gifts said...


Thinkinfyou said...

Nice way to handle that situation! I only had one "planned" pregnancy out of three! I'll have to remember the surprise thing!

Preppy 101 said...

That was a wonderful thing to say! Thank God for giving you those comforting, loving words so that Eldest Cherub feels so wonderful about things. You and your husband have a wonderful outlook on life!!

Miss Janice said...

Girl, you are one quick thinker! I love that answer!

Chris said...

I loved the story of how you and Mr. P started out!

And I understand the joy of a surprise. My youngest was a wonderful surprise too.