The perfect opening? (Religion + December + Family + IF = MINEFIELD)

So, to follow up on the most recent post about my MIL, I just got this Christmassy forward from her today (and we all know how I feel about Christmas…):

Your December inspirational message from Mennonite Women is both below (in text) and attached (in format)

December 2008   

    •          As Hannah after many years, for Samuel’s birth dedicating him to the Lord.
    •          As Elizabeth, barren for many years when the unexpected happens in the birth of John.
    •          Like Mary after the divine visit from Gabriel announcing the coming birth of Jesus.
What are we waiting for? And how? Impatiently, as children, for time to pass till…? Expectantly for a long- anticipated event? Waiting, perhaps dreading the outcome of the test results? Regina Shands Stoltzfus: “Our culture does not honor the practice of waiting”(Rejoice, Sept.- Nov.,10). Can we modify or resist this influence in our lives?  
Along with the shepherds when the unexpected happens! How to plan for a meaningful Christmas when circumstances dictate a change of venue? Wondering, childlike, expectantly what new and wonderful experiences are in store?

    •          As we light our Advent candles, each Sunday morning before Christmas.
    •          In our Park View Church Christmas Eve service of Lessons and Carols.
Worshiping “the one whose birth we celebrate [who] called his followers to give up all their possessions and to go into ministry” (Byron Rempel-Burkholder, Rejoice, Dec.-Feb., 3). How will that call impact this year’s celebrations?
    — submitted by VK

 Barrenness?!?!?!?!?  Birth!!?!??!?!?!?!  WAITING, for crying out loud?!?!?!??!?!?!  THIS IS ALL ABOUT INFERTILITY!!!!! 

Here is the text of the message she sent with the forward:

“E, I’m forwarding this inspiration message on to you as I thought you
might enjoy these reflections in light of your having recently given birth to
Valerie. D”

Wait – what’s that supposed to mean?  Does she suspect????  Does she know???  Or is she just channeling the pervasive Christmas/pregnancy link?  I feel like I’m being paranoid… but sometimes they really are out to get you…

So… is this the time to open up about our infertility?  I’ve noticed that recently – in the past few weeks or so – I’ve been able to talk about it more frankly with a number of friends here at school.  I know it’s often said that children cure childlessness, not infertility – and it’s true.  But having V. has allowed me to in some measure come to terms with those years of trying.  And, possibly, with future x amount of time we’ll spend trying for #2. 

Am I prepared to deal with what will come through the metaphorical door once I open it to this topic of conversation with her?  I’m still so embarrassed to acknowledge that I have sx with my husband… is there a way to stay in control of the conversation once I admit that we struggled?  To say what I will and won’t talk about? Our relationship to date has been warm, but with a certain formality, a definite self-editing on my part.  I perform what I think is their idea of me.  I’m always just a little bit guarded.  Because I don’t completely trust them.  That’s it, really – at the bottom of it all – I don’t trust my in-laws to love me unconditionally, or to refrain from judging me.  I’m not sure entirely why that is. 

Well, I probably won’t respond to her e-mail until I’ve had a chance to talk with T. about it, because, after all, she’s his mother, and he has a say in this matter as well.  But you could have knocked me over with a slight nudge to the forehead after I read the opening salvo of the forwarded text.


6 Responses to “The perfect opening? (Religion + December + Family + IF = MINEFIELD)”

  1. Farah Says:

    you are alwaya in contrtol of the info you share. Even if it may limit the conversation or answers. You can Always use my ” i am unsure how to answer that” line ..if you do n ot want to answer a question …. then there is always diversion too

    Good luck to you. I am so with you on the cure for childlessness but not IF … It’s a process still

  2. tara Says:

    on wsk’s birthday my mil started asking if we were preggers again… so apparently telling them about IF doesn’t necessarily help the unwanted conversations.

  3. Rachel Says:

    Even before reading your comments, I was wondering why your MIL sent you something on IF. Too bad it is hard to make others understand.

  4. Caro Says:


  5. docgrumbles Says:

    That was definitely about IF, I wonder why it was sent. Don’t share unless you really want to, though.

  6. Tigerfeet Says:

    Thank you…


    PS – I think I’m going to hang your Haiku on my fridge.

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