Thursday, June 13, 2013

Watering Hole Conversations

We spent an hour at the waterpark this afternoon. I like Benjamin having access to both water and other children on a regular basis. This seems to meet the criteria pretty swimmingly {so funny}.

A little boy walked up and kept asking if I saw him make a HUGE SPLASH {motions with hands and splashes me every time with great effort} and each of the three times, I told him I did and was quite exuberant in my response.

When asked why Benjamin was not going down the fish waterslide in the tot area, I commented to said child that he was too small. He said, "Well he has a big head!" {obviously that renders someone quite capable of waterslides apparently}. In his defense, Benjamin insisted on climbing the steps and peering down the slide while the other children pushed him aside to make their moves. And also, he does have a big head. Touche, kid, touche.


A bit later, a mom with a very cute Lululemon bikini {they make those? noted.} was catching her little boy at the bottom of the same fish slide. This kid just kept going in circles. Up the stairs, down the slide backwards and into his mom's arms. He was blond and about 2.5. You know where I'm going with this.

The mom saw that Benjamin was interested and asked if I wanted to let him go and that she would be there to catch him. I stood at the top of the slide {no longer than 5 feet} and she moved closer to catch him. I let him go and she caught my gleeful little tot. When done, I commented that her son will be quite worn out after going around and around on this slide dozens of times. Something about naptime and getting him good and tired was muttered, and then she told her son Drew to say hello to Benjamin.

Knife to the heart. Never gets old {or comfortable} seeing these beautiful blond boys with my boy's name. I'm not one of those moms who can say it warms her heart to meet a cute child with her should-be alive son's name. Not this mama.


We had to take a breather. Left the tot area and Benjamin found himself a 4-year old girl to attach himself to after trying unsuccessfully to befriend a few other children much older than himself. And by befriend, I mean trying to climb on their lounge chair. The little girl's mom approached and we discovered both of our sons shared the same name, Benjamin. She then asked if we had more children and I told her about Andrew. She apologized.

Sometimes I wonder if they are apologizing because they are sorry about our sadness, or sorry because they asked the question.

Then later our kids found one another again and she commented how Benjamin was a small 15-month old.

The small comment. Somehow that comment makes me feel small.

Just another day at the ol' watering hole. We were there 55 minutes and I'd had enough. Remind me why I go out in public again?


Mama Bear said... [Reply to comment]

Benjamin is perfect.
You know it--trust it.

Other people are so lame.
Kirk and I ask ourselves why we leave the house all the time. Then I question whether I am really that jaded unsocial person. Yup, I guess I am.

I wish our whole entourage had been able to accompany you to the water park.

Rachel said... [Reply to comment]

Those little comments are so hard to take. Don't worry about Benjamin's size - he is just beautiful! I understand a little bit as my daughter is on the opposite end of the spectrum. She just turned 2 and I do not know a single child her age who is bigger than she is. My pediatrician told me the same. In fact, she looks more like she is 3+ because of her height. And each time someone (relatives included!) tells me she is HUGE I somehow feel like I have done something wrong and cringe out how she will feel at those words someday.

Keep taking that boy out in public! It is a labor of love, I'm sure, but you are sure to be teaching him so much and I'm sure he loves the chance to learn from you and interact with you in those moments.

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]



Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. So true. All of it. No, I am not one of those Mama's that thinks it is sweet to encounter another little one with her name. It stabs me in the heart and renders me into breathless, speechless agony. Thanks for coming out. Be sure to tip your waitress.

Are they sorry? I don't think so. Maybe sorry they asked. Maybe sorry that they do not know what to say. That said, I never stop telling her story. I never stop saying it. I never stop making people feel "sorry." I just don't. Sometimes I need to say her name or validate her existence and if that creates a few "sorry" people than so be it.

I struggle with sisters much like you struggle with brothers.

Wish we could go to the watering hole together instead.

Addi's mom said... [Reply to comment]

This weekend spoiled me, I only want to hang out with you ladies and this real world BS is just that.

I'm not that mama either. It punches me in the gut just to think about it and the same age AND the blond hair? Give me an effing break!

Also, considering we all had babies around the same time and saw them all together this last weekend B didn't stand out as being too small or too big. He was JUST right! xoxo

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

I've only met one Cale (spelled differently) but it was a surprisingly good experience but I think it was because I talked to the boy and he was much older. Meeting a Cale, Who is the age of what my cale should be? That would be hard I imagine.

I hate the small comments. Ugh. I get them ALL the time and it makes me so sad. Because we are teaching our kids that it's ok to point out someone's differences and it makes it sound like it's a bad thing. I just want to scream "but he's healthy and smart and amazing! Who cares that he's little?!"

Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

And why do you go out in public? Because you're a wonderful mother and despite how it can hurt your heart, you're giving B the life and experiences you should have gotten to give to A.

LookItsJessica said... [Reply to comment]

I love the waterpark, we go several times a week too! I'm sorry about all the tough things that happened at the park today. The Drew part must have been really tough. And surrounded by all those other moms and babies (most likely blissfully unaware of the reality of babyloss) must have made it 100 times tougher.

I have the opposite problem. People comment on Avery being "big" all the time. She is big, 26 pounds at 14 months but it is starting to really bug me. I was chubby in middle school and I'm still heavier than pre-pregnancy. I dont want that for Avery and it makes me feel a bit like people think I feed my kid cheeseburgers all day. Society tells us that we need big bruising boys and petite little girls and that isnt cool. Our babies are amazing just how they are.

Natasha said... [Reply to comment]

Geez people can just be so uggghhh sometimes.

I tears at my heart to hear the name Aiden called out in Target or at the park or any place. Every.single.time. That has not gotten easier for me at all. Half the time I can't even look to see how old the child is because I'm ready to run in the opposite direction.

Benjamin is perfect. Such a cutie with an amazing smile and personality. And I agree with Keleen that his size was just right with all the other kiddos this past weekend. Perfect.

I also question why I go out in public sometimes. I was just telling Molly yesterday that I wish you guys lived closer to me because I don't connect with other moms the way I connect with my BLM friends. But we go out and try to be a part of the everyday world for our little rainbows because we want to give them all we can.

Which clearly means you are an awesome mama my friend!


Tiffany said... [Reply to comment]

it is incredibly hard to deal with comments sometimes. most of the time i think people say "sorry" because they are sorry they asked. when i was in the airport leaving IL, i found myself in front of a very chatty/nosey woman in the security line. she wanted to know how many children i had (i told her rainbow was my only 1 because i had a feeling she was just the nosey type), if i was going to have any more, when i was going to have more, what husband thinks about our timeline to have more. it was insane. i was in front of her for like 5 mins and i had had enough of people.

Brooke said... [Reply to comment]

2.5 year olds are hard. If I met one named Eliza? I probably would have to leave the waterpark.

I've decided next time someone comments on Zuzu being small, I'll just say, "Really? Hmm. Our pediatrician says she's perfect." And then POSSIBLY make a passing comment about childhood obesity while looking meaningfully at their kid.

Becky said... [Reply to comment]

Obviously not to this point yet, but what you mentioned are so many of the fears I have for when I finally bring a baby home. Sometimes I feel like I will totally shelter my kids from others because I fear those questions and seeing other Liam's and Evelynn's and happy families with their sons and daughters knowing that should be me. Ugh, it never goes away, does it?

Jessica said... [Reply to comment]

B is a happy and healthy little guy...perfect! Adults come in all shapes and sizes and so do babies and toddlers! I get the opposite comments about M and it does get old.

The air sucked out of the room when you wrote about "Drew." It never gets easier, does it? When I returned to school after loosing William & Ethan I taught a class with two boys that shared their names. It didn't help that these boys were spirited and I had to say there names several times during class. It was 50 min of torture every Wednesday.

Sometimes I wonder if our grief is a magnet for these moments. Of all the kids at the water park, this one boy finds you. The universe sure has a twisted sense of humor.

Amelia said... [Reply to comment]

It's EXHAUSTING. I'm so with you.

Em said... [Reply to comment]

doesn't warm my heart either tyo hear another girl with Eva's name. Makes me downright mad sometimes. And my rainbow is big. People look at him and say 'well, he looks healthy'. Makes me wonder what they thought my tiny Eva looked like.