Thursday, October 13, 2011

Conversation Starters

The week of Aaron's funeral we had new neighbors move in. I wasn't really in the social mood at the time so Tuesday night I made some cookies and Ronny and I headed over to say hello and welcome them to the neighborhood. We chatted for a few minutes and they asked how many kids we had. I told them we had 1 girl and 4 boys. After we came home Ronny said he was wondering what to tell people when they ask that question. When I met a new friend a few months back, (yep that's you Rachel!), I asked her how many kids she had. She had said 4, 3 are here and one is in heaven. I remember thinking that was a very interesting response at the time. Now I think it was a GREAT response and have adapted it to our situation.

I finally made it to the county health department to get Aaron's birth certificate. When I came home and looked at it I realized that here in Utah they put the birth weight on the certificate, (OR doesn't do that). Aaron's reads: 00 lbs 14oz. I also noticed that if you pick up the certificate after a death certificate is issued, the birth certificate also includes the death date. Now I wish I had picked it up sooner.

Last week Sam came home with a scratch on his face and broken glasses in his hand. I asked him what happened and he relayed that a kid at school pushed him down. Sam said he was fine but he felt really bad his glasses were broken. I was pretty miffed about the glasses, not at Sam but at the kid who did the pushing. (Sure would like to send those parents the bill for new glasses!)

I finally got Sam into the optometrist yesterday afternoon. After his initial assessment he turned to me and said, "Well I don't think he will need surgery, yet!" Seriously, not a good way to start a conversation with a mother. It turns out Sam's eye condition, (can't really remember what its called at the moment), has gotten progressively worse even with his glasses over the last year. His new prescription puts him in the thickest lens possible on his bad eye. With the new glasses he can see 20/20 so the doctor says there's no need for the surgery just yet. Great! Sam whispered and asked if this surgery would be like his appendix surgery. I whispered back and said yes but that it would be on his eyes, but that he didn't need it just yet. Hopefully we can push that one back for several more years. I'm a little tired of hospitals at the moment.


Elizabeth said...

We have a very good friend at church that uses that same response for her family. She says we have 3 children, Eden (5), Jonas (3) and Cayla is in Heaven. I think that is the best and most perfect response to the question: How many children do you have?

Suzanne said...

For me it depends on the situation. I don't always say I have 4 boys and 2 girls, because I don't always have time to, or want to, get into it with whoever is asking. (Like the checker at Target). My oldest son had a real problem with me not always counting Andrew, so I had to explain to him that sometimes it's just not the right situation to get into it. Especially if you're in a hurry and your kids are with you...they count heads and wonder why you just said you have 6. Or if you're talking to a bunch of other moms about how busy your schedule is with all your kids--in that context I never refer to myself as having 6 kids, because I'm not currently taking care of 6 kids. But I love it when I have time to give the topic the time it deserves. I never get tired of talking about my baby. People used to wonder if it hurt my feelings when the topic came up, but I really have always welcomed any opportunity to talk about him. He IS part of our family, and should be talked about and remembered.

CB said...

hello, I was also at the Registry Office on Tuesday registering the Stillbirth. She said "Do you have any other children?" I replied, yes I have twin boys but none are living. It is strange this week, I have been thinking a lot about the fact that I have three boys, none living. I often imagine what it would be like having three little guys running around the house, I long for the sound of children to fill this empty old house..... :(

Sant Family said...

You know I've had two sister pass away and I still struggle with how to answer this and always have. Now I just usually say three brothers, three sisters. But when I was younger and in school in invariably led to more conversations followed with lots of pitiful looks.

On the other and hand we have friends who answer, "7 kids, two are on a mission." Which leads to "Oh? Great! Where?" They answer, "One is in Cincinnati and one is in Heaven." Which leads to "what? ... oh ... so sorry ... uhmmm... oh ..."

I guess everyone answers the way they feel most comfortable but I think it is easier on everyone to answer in a way that doesn't promote more uneasy questions or confusion. Especially for people who are not of our faith - the answer that a loved one is on a mission is extremely confusing.

Thankful said...

Could you send me an email? I might have a friend that knows of another option besides surgery for the eyes. My address is my name spelled backwards at gmail, or I'm sure Ronny has Mike's.
Angela Jones

RachelHixson said...

Miss you Denise!