I was 12 years old and away at summer camp for the first time. She was the counselor assigned to my cabin. I remember her long dirty blond hair, wavy and wild. Her weathered hiking boots and the lilac shirt she tied around her waist each morning.
Her birch-bark name tag read Marion, but we all chose French pseudonyms for our two-week cultural immersions.
I never expected this.Those words swam in my head every single month that we were waiting for a baby. So I should not be surprised that infertility continues to shape my life in unexpected ways, such as in the overwhelming number of stories people shared in response to a recent post I wrote. I've been floored by how many people are yearning to hear that they are seen.
So many couples are suffering the invisibility of infertility.
Right now I am home. Sitting in the house that we own. Where we are raising our children. Where mail arrives daily bearing my name. Where we welcome family and entertain friends. Where I pull weeds and paint walls. Where my car pulls into the driveway and my shoes slip off in the doorway.
And I am writing about going home. Which is not here.
Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday. How easily we pass over them, eyes set eagerly on Easter Sunday. Or anticipating Thursday’s opening of the Triduum.
Our first half of Holy Week probably looks a lot like yours. Work. School. Kids. Meetings. Chores. Bills. The lackluster pregame show before the big kickoff. The forgettable prelude before the fanfare. The ordinary before the extraordinary.
His careful movements caught my attention out of the corner of my eye, as I e-mailed and meal-planned and sorted the mail and remembered wet laundry in the washer and half-checked the clock to see when we needed to leave.
He whispers his request as he burrows under the comforter, eyes flashing bright in the dim of his bedroom draped in night. Of course, I agree. And in an instant we’re off. I close my eyes and start to sing, and for a moment I drift back.
This sign sits in our front yard. Since it’s covered from view by a line of trees, I rarely glimpse it from the house. But whenever the boys want to walk down to the creek, I notice it while we wander at the edge of the road.
The yellow steel diamond that screams this unmistakable truth in all caps: "PAVEMENT ENDS."
As I was setting the table for their special dinner, my son snatched his baptism candle out of its holder and playfully held it in front of his mouth as if to bite. Coyly offering one of his beloved kidisms, he teased: “Does it taste?”
How could I help but notice? She flapped her fingers in front of her face as the choir sang, waving her hands spastically, tilting her head to the tune. When the singers paused during verses, she stopped and slumped forward, dark hair falling over her eyes.
I could say I don’t know where the time flew, but I do. Newborn blur, life with two littles, the months when he stopped sleeping, the months when we started moving. Since his arrival on this spinning planet, we’ve been whirling fast.
But the nine month marker makes me stop and take notice.