Monday, August 25, 2008

The First Day

At the end of our block sits an elementary and middle school campus. An award winning, Blue Ribbon, "green" school. It is the type of school you move to a neighborhood for.

Today was the first day of school; a day that encompasses the spectrum of emotions for a family - anxiety, excitement, dread, joy, pride, fear, confusion, confidence and self-doubt.

I always loved the first day of school - the anticipation, the "smell" of the building, the shopping for new supplies, the way it feels like anything is possible and everything is new again. I loved the first day as a student, I loved it as a teacher, & I still relish them today as tutor. Today was different; today broke my heart.

I left the house this morning at 8:30, just in time to see the families arriving for the first day of school. Some families walked to school - complete with the family dog and younger sibling tucked into their Bugaboo strollers while others piled out of mini-vans & luxury SUVs. Moms, Dads, and even a grandparent here or there all along for the "big day." The little ones all dressed up -shiny new shoes, backpacks too large for their little backs, lunch boxes clutched tightly. Parents smiling through their tears while snapping pictures and taking videos. The older kids walking to school in groups, too "independent" for mom or dad. Dressed up in their own right, though you would never know it. The sky was blue and the sun was shining and it was a perfect first day of school in this All-American town...

And yet, there I sat in my VW Passat (purchased 4 years ago when it was voted, "Best Family Sedan"), feeling like an impostor in this suburban scene, bawling my eyes out. Any passerby may have just assumed I had dropped my pre-schooler off for his first day of school, but instead I was shedding tears of sadness, emptiness, envy and bitterness.

When will it be my turn? When will I get to share in these moments? When will I fill this 4 bedroom house in the 'burbs with the sounds of a family, instead of the emptiness that echoes through the empty upstairs bedrooms?

Yesterday was equally heartbreaking. We went to the State Fair. What a terrible idea that was. Beautiful, sun-kissed children everywhere reveling in the joy that is a state fair on a hot, summer afternoon. I think it might have even been multiples day - no joke, we must have seen 5 sets of multiples in the few hours we were there. I was getting all teared up every ten minutes and I felt like one of those crazy ladies making eyes at every one's kids. You know the kind that makes you want to pull your kids closer to you while smiling uneasily at the "crazy lady"?

Last night while watching the closing ceremony of the Olympics, Sean suggested that we look into going to London for the 2012 Summer Games. He was painting a lovely picture - we could visit Ireland first and then stay with his cousin in his posh London pad, maybe see swimming or gymnastics. He was really getting into it when I interjected a bit sarcastically, "Sure babe, I'm sure the twins will love London. Do they let toddlers into the games?" (Yes, I am the typical IVFer - assuming I will have multiples - maybe I just set myself up for more disappointment). To which Sean replies, "I guess I just have started assuming we will never have kids." OUCH!

I guess if I can't have first days of school and summer days at the fair to look forward to, there is always the 2012 Summer Olympic Games...


poppy.f.seed said...

Throngs of children walking by can be really hard. I had similar feelings while at the beach this weekend. In 2012, you will hopefully by watching the olympics with your own toddler.

Jill said...

Em-We all have those days. Perfectly normal to have all those feelings. I know that someday you will be dropping your kids off at school and your "burb" house will be filled with the laughter and joys that children bring.

The hardest part is trying to be patient in our waiting in order to arrive at our dreams. :-)

BTW, hope the first day ended up going well for you in the end.

Amber said...

It's funny what seemingly innocuous days can bring out our sadness. Normal people think of Halloween as an entirely happy holiday, but having dozens of adorable children ringing your doorbell - well, it's just too much. I'm sorry you had one of those days.

Hugs to you today.

Maria (MKC101103) said...

Oh sweetheart I'm so sorry you had such a hard day. I know how it feels to have everything ready for a life with children and yet you're waiting...and waiting...and waiting. That is rough what Sean said and we're all praying that he's dead wrong. Sending you big hugs. Please keep your hope up.

Lisa said...

Oh, Em, hugs to you. Nobody except another infertile could understand the pain that those "normal" events, like kids being dropped off at school, could cause some of us.

M. said...

I'm sorry, Emily. I want to give you a hug right now. I hate that you're going through this. You will have your day when you're dropping your kids off for the first day of school. I know it doesn't make it better for me to say that, but I believe it's true.

Pria said...

oh emmy, that was really sad...i know how you feel..and to have sean said what he said.Men are just more emotionally detached,sometimes that detachment is very superficial too...deep inside he may want the same as you. Believe me we all will be there,on first day of school,will strollers,at olympic games,at state fairs.....we all will be....just when yet,thats what we dont know...and thats what makes the journey difficult....
Dont lose hope,thats the one thing you know you have!!

Leslie Laine said...

Thanks for you comment on my blog a couple of weeks ago - yes, you're right - great minds must think alike!

I was just checking out your most recent post and want for you to know how closely I identify with your feelings. I often feel like I have a hard time doing the most "normal" things anymore (i.e. going to Target) because I feel submerged in a world of cute mommies and little kids or even more wounding to me, pregnant women. I often believe they are following me. I see them everywhere.

And, couple that with the throngs of friends who get pregnant so easily and cannot understand my feelings of sadness about baby showers and far,the highlight of my 30s was definitely my marriage. The rest of these last two years have been characterized by feelings very similar to the ones described in your post.

I hope it helps to know that there is someone out here who thinks and feels exactly as you do! I'm going to add you to my blog roll so I can stay posted on your progress.

Hang in there and take care of yourself.


Leah said...

I just found your blog. This post really speaks to me. I know exactly how you feel. I'm impressed that your able to express it. I'm not quite there yet.

I'm sorry you had one of those days.