Every so often I get an email broadcast from my MIT living group. More than half the time I don't even recognize the sender, but that's OK. I still feel connected, however tenuously, to the house. A lot of important things happened there. That's where I met my ex-best friend, the one I had the late-breaking realization about a while ago.
Anyway: she had a baby! She and her husband look so happy in the pictures, and the baby is such a cutie.
Lots of different emotions rippled through me when I read the email and looked at the pictures. I am very happy for her, she and the baby both look beautiful, her husband looked remarkably not-tired just after the birth, which makes me hope that it was because she had a quick and easy labor...
Then I thought, Man, she's older than I am (not by much, but still), I can't imagine having a new born now! And more: Poor kid, I hope she doesn't screw him up!
Yes, a few uncharitable things crossed my mind before I got into the pity party: babies are awesome and I love my three so much, lately I've been feeling ripped off that we had to stop when we did, even though I can't imagine what a mess I'd be if I had four kids at the same time as having cancer. I'm struggling enough as it is, but still sometimes, I wish...
I replied to the message, even though a reply was neither required nor expected. I kept it simple, Congratulations!, beautiful photos, wishing you all the best of everything -- that's it. But at the same time I'm thinking, maybe now she'll understand what it was like for me, all those years ago, when I was happy to be married and happy to be having my first child, when she accused me of deluding myself because how could I possibly really be happy?
I hope she does understand. I hope she is as happy now as I was then, and I hope her family gives her as much joy as mine has given me.