I listened to her laugh about John’s response to her question. She didn’t understand, yet. I, however, immediately realized that my feelings months ago were spot on – he had never really spoken to her about future grandchildren. He’d very likely said something trite and expected her to “get the idea” and never broach the subject again.
So when, after laughing about her son’s silly reaction, she saw her opportunity to delve deeper into the water, she took it. I don’t blame her. Looking back, I probably would’ve done the same thing had I been in her position.
I have to admit… as she was telling the story about John and Alliya, I wasn’t sure at first where she was going with it. It wasn’t until the realization hit that John hadn’t actually spoken to her surfaced that I realized I was in very dangerous territory.
She asked, “So… I know he said he is content with Vincent, but do you not want anymore? Is Vincent just too much for you guys?”
This is what the next few seconds in my head sounded like:
Oh crap, don’t cry, Gina. Don’t you freakin’ cry. Think of something to say.
THINK OF SOMETHING TO SAY!
Is Vincent too MUCH for us?! He’s perfect, how did that even enter into her head that Vincent could be too much for us?
Oh my gosh, SAY SOMETHING! But not yet because you’re gonna cry. You’re gonna sound like you’re upset, and she’s gonna know, and it’s gonna be terrible, because then the secret’s out, and John’s gonna be annoyed because you couldn’t keep your mouth shut, and then the whole family will find out, and GEEZ – SAY SOMETHING, ANYTHING! BUT TRY NOT TO SOUND LIKE YOU’RE SOBBING!
You must look like an idiot there staring off behind your sunglasses with your mouth hanging open.
(closes mouth, absent-mindedly begins chewing on lip)
OH NO, you chewed on your lip you idiot! Now she knows for sure and it’s been too long a pause for you to have just been trying to think up a delicate excuse for not wanting more kids than Vincent. Man, you’re a total failure at this. Now you’re stuck. Way to screw that up.
And as I had the “Way to screw that up” thought flash through my mind, my MIL realized the pregnant pause wasn’t so pregnant as infertile and immediately wished she could swallow the words that had already sliced through my soul.
She hadn’t even uttered her realization of “Oh Gina… I’m so sorry” as I felt the first tears start to fall. I was trying vainly to quell my tidal wave of grief so I could tell her not to feel guilty… that it wasn’t her fault I was reacting so strongly. I could only muster a shake of my head and a faltering, “No, Ma, it’s okay. It’s really okay. Vincent isn’t too much. John just doesn’t want anymore.”
My MIL is a wonderful woman. She truly is. She’s probably one of the most genuinely caring people in the world. She really is happiest when she’s making other people feel at ease or cared for. That part of her personality is so attractive… so magnetic… people tend to relish being in her company. So as soon as she realized she’d caught me off guard, she felt bad. So she said, “I’ll talk to my son. That’s just not right.”
I started to protest, but I was still too overcome with emotion to do more than bite my lip to prevent all out sobbing. So I just shook my head and she understood we’d talk later. She said, “It’s okay. We’ll talk later. Back at the house.”
About 45 minutes later, we were alone on the beach with my neice. She was playing with some friends, so I took that opportunity to have the conversation John should have had months ago.
Continued in Part III: The Talk
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