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Reality Bites…But Not Always

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I’m a little embarrassed to admit this, but in junior high I yearned to have a boyfriend.

(What? You too? Well, I’ll be darned.)

But the objects of my affection never returned that affection, and so I continued to pine after unrequited love – building up the idea of a boyfriend as the months and years passed – until one evening at a hockey game in January 1988, those affections were returned. By a really hot older guy who was an avid skateboarder. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.

Until the first time he stood me up.

He’d forget to call because he was downtown skating and had drunk a six-pack of Coronas and couldn’t drive. But then he’d call in the middle of the night from Canada just to say hi. And he never brought me to his house or introduced me to his parents.

Finally, one day I called him and told him to never bother calling me again. Which makes it sound like I was strong and self-assured.

Which I most certainly was NOT.

Because I continued to hang onto the idea of him long after that. Even though the reality of having a boyfriend was far different from the idea that I had built up in my mind, I was still very attached to the hope of turning that idea into a matching reality. I was setting myself up for disappointment.

Therefore, I much prefer to be unsure about an idea, and then be pleasantly surprised by the reality of it. And that’s how I feel about the baby in my tummy right now.

A friend sent me an Oops tee shirtrecently featured on Cool Mom Picks. I wore it two days later to my monthly Bunco group as a means of announcing my news. My abstinence from alcohol had puzzled my friends, and I was running out of good excuses why I didn’t want to have even “just one.”

When my husband Kyle saw the shirt, he howled with laughter. And when my friends saw it, their jaws dropped and they shrieked their congratulations as they hugged me. Not one person in the whole conservative group – not even the woman who has been struggling mightily with infertility – gave the slightest indication that they were put off by the shirt’s sentiment.

Because they understood MY sentiment. I wasn’t keen on the idea of a third child. When people asked (as if it were their business anyway), I replied that we were finished. I even wrote about it on my blog. My feelings were well-documented, and I can’t hide that.

We gave away most of our baby-related items to Kyle’s brother. I took apart most of the baby and toddler playclothes so that I use them for quilts for Tacy and CJ.

Furthermore, I was using birth control when I conceived. Relying upon that birth control. Not modifying my behavior in the way I would were we trying to conceive.

Be all of that as it may, we’re now expecting a third child. And while she is more of a “Surprise!” than an “Oops!” – that is, her conception was not due to human error or miscalculation, but simply an instance of hitting the conception lottery jackpot – the idea of her is far, FAR different than what the reality will be.

The idea of a third child may be a frightening proposition, but the reality will be just as wonderful as it has been with her two older, well-planned sisters. I knew that the moment I saw the two lines appear, even through my fear and disbelief.

Will we tell her that she was a surprise? Why wouldn’t we? As I noted above, it’s well-documented, and I can’t hide that. Moreover, I won’t. Being a surprise doesn’t mean that we don’t want her, won’t be thrilled to have her complete our family.

So I’ll wear my Oops tee shirt and giggle with anticipation. Because the reality of this surprise baby girl is going to be wonderful.

Far better than the reality of a teenage boyfriend, that’s for sure.

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  • comment avatar Andy September 26, 2007

    I was an “Oops” child. Though if my mom had had a shirt like that back in the day, it would have had an expletive on it.

    Good thing I turned out so well. 🙂

  • comment avatar Angela September 26, 2007

    And that is MUCH better than a teenage boyfriend. Well, except for the labor part….

  • comment avatar Aimee September 26, 2007

    Except, oops! It’s a boy, right? 🙂

  • comment avatar Lisa September 27, 2007

    What? Is it a boy and you just forgot to edit it? That WOULD be an oops!

  • comment avatar PGH September 27, 2007

    I like the tone you used for this. I just HATE it when people say their kid was an “accident.” A surprise sounds so much better.

  • comment avatar PGH September 27, 2007

    Or an “Oops!”

  • comment avatar Julie September 27, 2007


    Yes, this post was originally written when the doc had told me the baby was a girl. He has since reversed his conclusion (and given the ultrasound shot we saw, I have to agree with him – even *I* could see the genitalia!).

    It’s a BOY!