Here's the thing. I've always maintained that I absolutely do not want to be treated differently by the successfully child-bearing among us. And I still maintain this to be true.
However, I do kind of think people should use a modicum of tact and sensitivity when dealing with the bereaved, especially around this time of year. Especially with a still-fresh loss compounding the sorrow of the three behind it.
Which is why I nearly burst a vein last night when I got a Christmas letter tucked into a Christmas card from friends of our. It was a sweet letter, but it was 98% kid-oriented.
I can't necessarily cope with hearing about all the milestones your 9-month old son has reached, especially when that son was born on the day Thomas was due nearly three years ago. I don't want to hear about how his big sister (born four months after my first miscarriage) dotes on that tiny boy.
This probably sounds cold. Mean, even. I love children. I love all my friends' children. I love holding them and making them laugh and cooing at them.
But I do it when I can. When I choose to. When I'm capable.
When a letter barges its way into my quiet, empty house and regales me with tales of life in a happy, child-filled home it makes me ache with emptiness and longing. It makes my house deafeningly silent. It makes the tree lights burn my eyes. It makes me cry quietly while I'm watching The Grinch with My Beloved.
I know my sorrow and its magnification at this time of year isn't top of mind for most people, particularly those we don't see often, but my God, how does it not occur to people (who, by the way, know about the twins when many people don't) that we might not want to read a "look what my kid can do now" letter?
How does it not occur to them that it might hurt us? How is it possible not to realize that a letter like that shouldn't be sent to people like us?