I still remember the lonely afternoons and the silent prayers in the childish hope that someone up there is listening. The yearning to have another sibling. My pretend family where I had five siblings. The yearning to share with someone who was my own. I yearned to pamper and to be pampered just the way an older sibling pampers the younger one and there were times I wanted someone who would tag along following me. Even though jealousy is something that isn’t in my system but seeing sibling love or fights often left me with an emptiness. My mum who has always been my best friend and confidant could never understand it. My dad who was also my playmate thought they were filling all the gaps. My parents were always pretty adamant about their decision to have just one child.
Both my parents had other siblings. My mum was the youngest of the three while my dad was the oldest of his four siblings. I couldn’t fathom why after having so much fun in their childhood, they wanted to deprive me of that joy. Every time I closed my eyes to say a prayer, the need for a sister/brother was always mentioned. In fact in the early years, I was almost certain that one Christmas morning I would find a baby delivered by Santa himself.
I still remember, that one of the Sisters (Nun) in my school really loved some of us. She would often make us do certain things for her. You know the typical stuff like arranging the flower pots in the garden in a certain order or giving us a pile of papers that needed to be handed to a teacher and so on. One day just before the Christmas vacation, Sister M (the one) had us doing something for her. This was when I was in grade 1. After the job was well done, she was chatting about Santa and what presents we wanted from him. She had us believing that Santa was her secret buddy and she would put in a good word for us. You can very well imagine the happiness in a bunch of 7 year olds. It was as if we were promised a trip to the North Pole. So while all the others wanted Barbi dolls (which was a big deal in those days), board games, etc; I stood there waiting my turn. No prize for guessing what I wanted. Yes a sister or a brother. I can still remember her expression. She almost looked sad. Then she told me that she needed to see my parents. You can imagine how horrified my parents were at the time I told them the whole story. While then I didn’t quite know why my dad was making excuses of not going to meet her and my mum glaring at me since she had no choice but to go; forward it to now and the scenario makes me laugh. Anyway my wish wasn’t granted that year or any of the following years. I slowly made peace with my no-sibling status but always knowing in my heart that my child will not suffer the loneliness I did. I almost had my life planned out by the young age of 10.
But rarely life happens as you plan. Or that’s always the case with me. I grew up and fell in love and got married to the most amazing guy. We were here in the US right after marriage and living the life that we had talked about. Life was like a series of happily ever after. It couldn’t have been more perfect. Then came the saga of trying to be pregnant.
Suffice it to say that is a period I don’t wish on my enemies. It was a period of dark days, tears, tears and some more tears. It was a period when everyone thought that my life was their business. While some gave unwanted suggestions of various doctors and different sexual positions that guaranteed ‘good results’ others almost wrote me off as never having a child. It was a period where the sight of a pregnant woman had me choked up. It was the time when all our friends were either announcing their pregnancies or celebrating first birthdays. While God knows I always wished each one of them well, but the effort it took to smile and congratulate or attend these parties is something that my hubby alone witnessed. He has always been my pillar of strength. But I honestly don’t think I would have survived that period without his constant support and positivity.
Nevertheless my wish was granted and I was blessed with the most beautiful baby girl after almost 6 years of sheer agony. Since my pregnancy was smooth and once PCOS was ruled as the reason behind my not conceiving, I once again thought I’ll have it easy the second time. After all this time we’ll know what we are dealing with. So we won’t have to wait trying to determine the cause. Once again I thought I had my life planned. But who was I kidding ??
Then came the time, when we were ready for the second and once again nothing happened. My Daughter loves babies and life came a full circle when I saw her playing with her pretend 5 siblings and asking us endlessly for another baby. She has cried and promised us she’ll be a good big sissy. I see the loneliness in her eyes which is often overlooked by others. I see her looking at others siblings with the same jealousy that I can so relate to. In other words I see myself in her. She’s 8 and still occasionally asks me if I’m going to have another baby.
For a long time I held myself responsible for her loneliness. I hated myself for doing the same thing that I vowed never to. I cursed myself and kept asking the ‘why’ over and over again. But not anymore. I have come to realize that not everything can be planned. Not every thing happens just because you want or work for it. Sometimes you just can’t make it happen no matter how hard you try or how much you want. And you aren’t responsible for it. While as a mom I want to give her all things she deserves and more, I also need to accept that there will be times I just can’t. And that’s fine !! I need to accept that and move on.
Right now, I’m happy to say I’ve accepted myself. I’ve forgiven myself for something that I’m not sure was my fault. I know I tried and that’s all that matters. Happiness is definitely in letting go of this misplaced guilt.
Blogathon 2017 #Day 6