396th Friday Blog Roundup
Thank you for the birthday wishes last week. I’d love to tell you all about seeing the amusement park pieces, and show you all my lovely photos… but we didn’t go. The day before, we headed up to the actual old park grounds (most of which was now a shopping mall) to see the ruins. The only thing that remained in good shape was the entrance castle. We walked around the fence, peeking in at the forest growing over the ruins, and I felt in that moment that I had my peace even though it didn’t look like the Enchanted Forest at all.
The next day, the day we were supposed to go to Elioak, the Wolvog had his baseball game postponed due to weather, and we spent the day in the house, waiting to hear when he’d be playing. At one point, we could have slipped out to the farm, but I sort of didn’t feel like it was where I was supposed to be in that moment. We stuck around the house, and I got everyone to clean for three straight hours. And then the Wolvog’s baseball team won their game, and we screamed our heads off.
The next day, we went to Nationals Park to celebrate my birthday again, and Lombardozzi and Harper kicked off the game with back-to-back home runs as the first two hits. Literally, first two hits of the game were both home runs. In the same vein as not needing to go see the restored pieces of the amusement park after seeing the ruins, I sort of didn’t need the Nats to win after that opening. It was that good. Oh, and they didn’t win. But what I’m saying was that it didn’t really matter because that opening was so spectacular; just as seeing the ruins of the amusement park were enough in the moment.
So, all in all, a great birthday.
Josh and I don’t really do gifts on birthdays or holidays. We just give gifts whenever we feel like giving a gift. I made a joke on my birthday that he should trot downstairs and get my gift, and he said, “okay” and left the room. I thought he was joking too, but he came back in with something behind his back, which ended up being one of the best presents ever.
Back in graduate school, I translated a story by Etgar Keret that appeared in Rechov as part of my translation project. In it, there was a word that I CLEARLY did not know: kalashnikov. I couldn’t find it in any dictionary, nor did any of the people I asked know it (granted, they were all peaceniks… which might have been the problem). But time was running out on turning in the project so I left the word in pencil all over the draft of the translation. Untranslated. And not spelled correctly either because I was sounding it out from the Hebrew.
My professor sat me down and mashed his lips together and finally said, “Melissa, do you not know what a kalashnikov is?” So I admitted that I could tell it was a noun, and it was clearly important to understanding the character, but I had no idea what this thing was. And finally he said, “seriously? It’s a gun, Melissa. It’s a gun.” And this became a big joke amongst my friends.
And then, early on in my relationship with Josh, we went to hear Nathan Englander read from For the Relief of Unbearable Urges, which is this fantastic book, and the whole evening made me fall in love with Josh a little more.
So for my birthday, Josh got me copies of Etgar Keret and Nathan Englander’s newest books, and had the men sign them for me.
So… yeah… he hit it out of the park with a kalashnikov with that one.
I went back to the White House on Thursday for their Women’s Health Townhall, which was thought-provoking. I need to pull my pictures from the camera and organize my thoughts on it. But it raised some really interesting questions about infertility specifically in looking at women’s health in general. More on that soon.
And now the blogs…
But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week as well as the week before. In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:
- “Anatomy of a Hater” (Searching for Our Silver Lining)
- “Right When” (Mrs. Spit)
- “Somebody’s Baby” (Baby, Interrupted)
- “A New Day” (Freckled Citizen)
- “94 Days” (The Koob Triplets)
Okay, now my choices this week.
Dragondreamer’s Lair has a post about her unseen scars; the ones caused by infertility. It caused her to doubt her body, to be able to trust in statistics, and to feel unburdened joy over someone else’s pregnancy announcement. It’s a beautiful post about the far-reaching effects of infertility.
Doping for Baby has a post about moving in and out of being affected by infertility. She writes, “It’s funny, just when I think I am centered and in a place of acceptance about our currently infertile situation, I become overwhelmed with it all.” It’s the unknowns that undo her, that get through the armour of calm. Such an honest, raw post.
Write Mind Open Heart provides a release for her shame, and counsels, “It’s time to neutralize by shining light. Often, in the light, the things we are most embarrassed by or even ashamed of suddenly seem not so dark, so charged, so burdensome.” It’s a great reminder, and her comment section is also becoming a dumping ground for other people to release their hidden shame.
There were two great graduation-from-the-clinic posts — one last week and one this week. Waiting for Little Feet has a post about that final ultrasound at the RE’s office. It Is What It Is (Or Is It?) also has a post about that final appointment. Both posts capture that bittersweet wonder of leaving a place that you both love and hate at the same time. It’s the place where your child originated, and it’s also a place that no one wants to be. But still, saying goodbye can be so damn hard.
Lastly, Holly’s Narrative Dream has a post about letting go of all her old baby things and accepting the future for what it is. She writes, “My daughter won’t field calls from her sibling when she’s older and counsel him or her on their love life or job. She won’t be able to bitch about her aging parents and how stubborn we are or deaf we are becoming. She’ll stand on her own. She’s stronger than me, and I handle everything. She’ll be fine.” It’s a lovely, brief post.
The roundup to the Roundup: How I spent my birthday. Josh’s fantastic gift. And thoughts from what I realized about infertility from the Women’s Health Townhall soon. And lots of great posts to read. So what did you find this week? Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between June 1st and June 8th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week? Read the original open thread post here.