I’m angry. My therapist seems to think so and I can’t disagree.
I see you lady, the one with the baby stroller. It’s the hippest kind- the one that looks almost space-aged, lightweight and modern. It’s the type that celebrities push their newborns around in, appearing on the pages on People and US Weekly and so I know it cost a pretty penny. I shouldn’t be surprised because we are in a swanky shopping plaza in a well-to-do town. I’m with my husband, joining him at a burger place near his work. You are with a friend, likely meeting up for a rare outing out of the house. I see your proud smile, the one that tells me you know others are looking at you and your stroller, thinking “oh look! A new baby!” You smile as if having a live baby is some sort of accomplishment. Well, guess what? Try having a dead baby. Now that’s something to be proud of.
(I know, I know. Maybe she did have a dead baby and this is her first live one. In which case, she should be proud. Or maybe she struggled with years of infertility. Or maybe her baby has a severe heart defect and will need surgery. Or maybe she just made a perfect healthy baby.)
I see you too, small SUV. You’re driving in front of me with one of those yellow placards in the window. “Baby on Board” it reads, screaming at all the other cars around, admonishing them to drive more safely and be more careful because there is a baby in that car. How long do you get to keep that yellow sign up? You and your oversized stature were purchased so that there’d be more room for a baby and all the accouterment that comes in tow. Heaven forbid the owners stick to a simple sedan for the diaper bag, the space-aged stroller and the portable breast pump. The type of car already announced that motherhood was inside, why must you rub it in my face with the yellow sign as well? I hate you car and I hate you placard.
(I know, I know. People can drive what they want and perhaps the sign was a gift, needing to be displayed so the giver felt satisfied. Maybe the SUV is needed for the three kids they have, or to deliver groceries to soup kitchens, or to tote the special needs stroller which is bigger and bulkier. Or maybe it’s all part of what a new mom had been excitedly waiting to do- drive a “mom” car with a baby on board placard.)
I heard about you, woman I know who just had her third baby. I didn’t know you were even pregnant, because our worlds haven’t crossed since the death of my daughter. But I know now, having heard the news from a friend who saw it on her facebook feed. And congrats to you for doing something I could not… produce a baby that would live… three times over. I know you are just one of many who have more than one baby- I see them every day in my workplace. And I know I have no idea whether it was planned, whether it was difficult or whether you have had any struggles. But congrats to you, for making it look so darn easy to pop out a baby who breathes. Congrats.
(I know, I know. Maybe this pregnancy was physically and emotionally difficult. Maybe her husband left her. Maybe the baby has Down Syndrome. Maybe she struggled for years with infertility. Maybe she doesn’t know how she is going to balance three kids with a demanding job. Or maybe she is simply thrilled that her family is now complete.)
My anger is unfair, I know. But life is unfair, so I get to be angry.
Are you angry? What are you angry about? What gets you angry?