We were having an important conversation about an emotionally charged subject. The banter was easy and agreeable, the tone respectful. The subject matter had nothing whatsoever to do with me or my kid, yet when it morphed into the organic moment I had been waiting (um, praying) for, I (um) pounced. It was that moment that I chose to share that my daughter, whom the person I was speaking with has met on more than one occasion, was born a boy.
It had been eating at me. I had felt as though my lack of sharing was somehow duplicitous and had become the elephant in the room which only I noticed. It was equal parts anxiety and the desire to be wholly honest which allowed the words to tumble out of my mouth with no fanfare (unless one could consider my gently resting my hand on my listener’s knee somehow fanfare-ish) direct eye contact and a kind-of-a-little-bit feigned bravado. But the moment I said it, I felt my shoulders drop ever so slightly and my breath catch just a smidge as I awaited a response.
I do not know what I expected really. I certainly did not anticipate hysteria or anger, nor did I get it. I had built up the details and played out the scene of this interaction many times in my mind. I had allowed myself to perseverate over how and when to say something, fretted over the reaction I would receive, rehearsed the monologue (which, when the time arrived for recitation, fully escaped me) to the point of sudden sweats and aborted sleep. And it was all for naught. The response was nearly as matter-of-fact as my delivery. Compassion for the challenges we faced were shared. Respect was evident in both directions. Inset huge sigh here.
Perhaps it was selfish of me to blurt it out amid discussion of another child’s issue. This wasn’t about me. But as we were chatting, my mind feverishly darted back and forth between “not now, Julie” and “since we are getting down and dirty into kid issues, bring it on”. You know which option won out.
And, while I never worried about the response I would receive, I obsessed over finding the right time, the right place and the right words. I think I did okay.
I am appreciative of the acceptance. I am cognizant of the fact that I lobbed a fastball. I am grateful to have been listened to so respectfully. Note to self: the anticipation is always the hardest part.