Again I digress, infertility is a topic that I've never mentioned. Mainly because I'm not entirely sure that it applies to me. When I say that I mean that I wasn't even slightly bothered by the need to reproduce my genes so when things worked out the way they did (see, I'm being vague) adoption suited me just fine.
Circumstances have conspired this year to mean that I've become a grandfather twice, once in February and once on Monday. It's kind of been an 'interesting journey' (again, vague) to put it in the most most anodyne terms possible. The last few weeks have taken us through the experience of packing hospital suitcases and stockpiling baby wipes and nappies. We waved my daughter off to hospital and became familiar with what is a routine passage that the overwhelming majority of families travel. At my ripe age and as a father of six it feels odd to be a stranger in the maternity ward and the tramlines of pregnancy and birth, all the systems and processes that feel alien yet are standard for so many.
So, today I visited the ward and MrsC shared her experience as the birthing partner, a moving and personal experience. I got all teary and I felt this little twinge. It could have been more. All this swirling unresolved mess inside that I really didn't have back at the beginning of our family's journey seems to have slowly grown into something. I'm not overwhelmed or bereft, I've no regrets just the odd thought.
What if things had been different?
That's not a helpful thought so I tend to push it back down. I think a lot of my friends have that thought.
After today's business I tucked Peanut into bed, it's her birthday eve and she asked to go early. I looked her in the eye and told her,
'Thank you for being the most, clever, creative, kind, beautiful, funny, silly, wonderful six year old in the world, its been a pleasure and a privilege to be your daddy this year and I am so exited for you to be seven'
As I got the end of my little speech her bottom lip quivered and she broke into a full on sob. 'What's wrong?' I asked.
'I'm so happy.' She sobbed
We cuddled tight. My thoughts went to a little girl's birth that started seven years ago tonight.
Adoption sucks and adoption is wonderful but that's no news.
So, that's a story out of the secret jar.