Maddy just used the most perfect word in her most recent post for that thing we do when we are around moms and kids and families that resemble that which we are wanting: Masquerading.
Saturday I dropped by the bar where my darlin works on weekends, and a friend of his was there with her new baby- a one month old. We sat and talked and she handed me the baby, told me all about the pregnancy, about how tired she was in the beginning (I know, I wanted to say, I know I really do), how she was miserable the first 5 months, how her delivery went along fine until it ended in a c section. Breastfeeding was simple (it's natural, she said with a shrug, clearly unaware that it could be horribly impossibly difficult for someone), all is well, baby is sleeping. She glowed (how?) as she talked and talked and talked. She is young, in her 20s, but had a hard time conceiving. Tried several years- unexplained, tried clomid several times, gave up, started partying again, and got pregnant. A miracle she said, and I get that.
She told me she wishes us well this month (!), and said she knows I must know all about the hormone craziness, the hot flashes, the feeling of no reserve. She said that holding her baby would bring me luck and that soon I'd be holding my own baby.
I sat and listened and mmmed, and held that warm baby, and played with her perfect fingers. She said the baby has her hands, it is so obviously Her baby, and I wondered if I will get to look for fingers that look like mine.
I did not expect her to know so much about what we were up to, she is not someone I know well, and I forgot that other folks might know through my darlin', so I felt a little taken aback, and a lot exposed and nekkid in the face of it.
Folks kept circling around, talking about the baby, and their babies, and their pregnancies. one woman found out at 5 months.
And I am ignorant, I am. It is a club I am not part of.
I was not totally flattened and floored, but I felt, what, stupified maybe? Bruised? Exposed?
And a little stupid. I did not have my guard up. I went in as me. not as me, protected. I have no problem with babies or pregnant ladies, but that does not mean I do not feel a stab (or slow ache, more accurately) of envy, or of loneliness in some way. Maybe that is the word that captures it best. Loneliness.
Like being the only sober one at the party.