Saturday, November 3, 2007

If or when

The last time I saw my mother in law -- a couple of weeks ago -- she had come over to our house to drop off stuff. P later told me that he had recently told her he didn't want her bringing things over, that he was sure she was going to punt the responsibility for making the hard decisions regarding Ps late father's stuff. My FIL passed away three years ago, and the basement was still full of his stuff. My MIL remarried this fall, and she decided it was time to start cleaning the house up, making space for her new life. P sensed that she was going to clean out the basement by bringing everything here -- that way, P would have to make the decision to throw things out instead of her. Of course, when she called me while P was at work on a Saturday morning, I didn't think much of it. I suggested it might be better to wait a couple of hours until P got home, but she said she had to come right then. Evidently, I got played.

When we were done unloading the contents of her SUV into my basement, we made a little small talk. She let me know that this was just the first load. If P and I ever had kids, she had boxes and boxes of things for us that she had kept from Ps childhood -- little pants, little shoes, and little coats with Ps name on them. I waited until she left to cry.

She doesn't know about our miscarriage. She was a labor and delivery nurse for much of her career and worked in the surgical procedures unit where we had the D&E before that.* She knows how common it is for things to go wrong, that wanting kids does not always lead directly to having kids. But the word if still startled me. I hope it's a when not an if.

* Our last name isn't common. It turned out every person we met during this whole process knew her -- our OB is a friend of hers, the receptionist at the radiology lab had worked with her, the nurse at the surgical procedures unit commented that she had taken the job when my MIL left. We kept having to tell people not to mention they had seen us to her. Still didn't stop our OB from telling us to pass her congrats along at the wedding. We had to remind her that we would then have to explain where and how we saw her.

1 comment:

Manda said...

MILs can be so crafty with their "dumpage." Mine has a box of Legos that my husband played with, oh, 20-some odd years ago just WAITING for me because she can't bear to get rid of that stuff. She really thinks I'm gonna let my future kids play with old moldy Legos that have been in storage for decades?? HA!