Many infertile women have a box. Or a drawer. A shelf. A room. A place where they have stored up a collection of items for that longed-for baby. Outfits. Blankets. Books. The collection and the place where it’s stored can be a symbol of hope or a painful, tangible reminder of misplaced dreams. I don’t have that collection or that place. I think it’s partially due to a streak of Dutch practicality – why would I waste money on something that isn’t a reality? And I think it’s a form of self-protection – there are enough reminders in the world of my childless state, so why willfully inflict additional pain on myself? So I don’t own anything* for my future children, and I’m content with that.
That is, I didn’t own anything for future children, until yesterday. Yesterday, when my sweet husband came home from a brief business trip with a gift to represent our newfound optimism. He bought me a children’s book, Blueberries for Sal, which he said he hopes will be the start of a collection. I hope so, too.
For the record, if I were to make a similar gesture to him, I would give him this. In fact, the only thing that stopped me from ordering it as soon as I saw it is that same Dutch practicality which whispered, “Yes, you’re confident you’ll be parents someday, somehow, but what if you adopt a two-year-old too big for this to fit?” But I regularly check to make sure the item is still there, on sale, waiting for the right time to purchase it. (Lord, please let it be soon!)
*Unless you count the box in storage that contains gifts that each of our mothers presented on our wedding day: one (1) pair ducky baby booties and the supplies to create one (1) ducky bathroom. I told you they were obsessed with giving us duck stuff. (We love you, moms! We just like joking about the duck stuff!)