Friday, February 8, 2013

Air Sickness Bags and Telling the Family

The first question we had when we found out we were pregnant was this:  when do we tell? 

The summer we found out we were pregnant, my brother was getting married and everyone was going to be there.  I told Sunday that I thought we should tell everyone then.  Very convenient, since we live about seven hours away from my nearest relative.

Silence from Sunday.  I have learned that silence means that she wants me to ask what she’s thinking.  Repeatedly. 

“What do you think?”  I asked (about 78 times).

“I was wondering what your brother would think,” she answered

“He’ll be thrilled,” I interrupted.

“What I mean is, what will he think, giving this news on his special weekend?”  Then, it hit me.   We weren’t flying to my brother’s house to announce that we were pregnant.  We were going to celebrate his marriage.  Everyone was going to be there, just not for my convenience.  It was for them, not us.  Sunday was right. 

We decided not to tell everyone, but I did want him to know.  So on the airplane, I wanted to write a note to Joe that he could read while he was on his honeymoon, telling him about his new responsibilities as an uncle.  So, I did what many people have done, I think.  I pulled out the air sickness bag and penned my note.  Sunday was sleeping while I was crafting my message, but she woke up just in time to sign it. 

“Why am I signing an air sickness bag?”

“This is the note for Joe and Kim, telling them we’re expecting.”

“You wrote it on this?”

“I didn’t have anything else.”

At this point, Sunday looked at me, realizing that I was really excited about sending the note on a vomit bag.   She was not as excited.  She knew that the vomit bag idea was funny, but not necessarily the classiest idea in the world.  She also knew that our child’s birth deserved a better announcement, but she signed the bag anyway.  No complaints.  No rolling of the eyes.  No nothing.  There are plenty of people who would have complained about that bag from the time I showed it to her until the time she could complain about it to her grandchildren.   She understood my excitement and she trusted me.

Before we got to Joe’s house, however, God had a better plan than one either Sunday or I could have imagined.   We didn’t know it, but my younger brother, Luke, had already gone to Joe to ask if it was ok to announce that his wife was pregnant with their second child during the wedding weekend.  Without telling anyone, Joe gave the ok for Luke to announce that they were expecting.

So there we were, all relaxing in Joe’s living room, watching some sports event.  Luke waited until a commercial came on—very important—and then said, “Hey, everybody.  Faith and I wanted to tell you that we’re pregnant.”

At this point, I looked at Sunday and she looked at me.  In the midst of the yelling and shouting and crying, we were shocked.  My older brother was getting married to a beautiful, intelligent woman, my younger brother and his wife were going to have another very-cute child, and we were in the midst of them, with our own little secret.

I could have lived in that five seconds the rest of my life. 

She raised her eyebrow in a question.  I knew what she was asking.  She wanted to tell.  Right then.  Throwing out our plan. 

In response to her unspoken question, I nodded my head.

Then, Sunday asked,  “When’s your due date?”

Luke answered, “February 1st.”

Sunday replied, “Well ours is two weeks later.”

The room erupted again.  There were fresh tears, joining the ones that had dried.  Hugs, kisses and shouts.   We had told my family and they were thrilled.  Joe and Kim were glad.

Later, I asked Joe if the timing of our announcement was right.  He told me it was perfect.  In fact, he would have been disappointed if he hadn’t told them before they went on their honeymoon.   Sunday was right.  Even if it didn’t match with our plan.  She was perfect.  It wasn’t going to be the last time that she would take control of the situation, change the plan and create a situation to celebrate.  She was only two months along, but she was developing into a parent.  Right there in my brother’s living room.  She recognized that the plan didn’t fit the situation and she was flexible enough to realize it.  Yet, her flexibility did not supersede our agreement.  She asked.  I answered.  We both ended up with the right message.   


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