Thursday, February 24, 2011

Red faced

My husband often goes for a jog on his lunch break. We are fortunate in that we live very close to his work (2.2 miles, to be exact), so he will go home, grab a quick bite to eat, go for a twenty minute run, take a shower, and get back to work within an hour or so. He says he loves getting his exercising in during the day, and that he feels rejuvenated all afternoon.

The other night, DH was telling me about his jog at lunch, and that the only downside to all of this is that his face turns tomato red after running...and stays that way for longer than you would expect. He said when he returned to the office, he ran into his boss in the hallway who stopped and did a double take when he saw DH's red face. He asked if DH was feeling all right, to which DH explained that he had just gone for a run.

DH and I laughed at this little story, and I told him I know exactly what he means. I always hated junior high PE for many reasons, but one of which was the fact that I got the bright-red-what-the-heck-happened-to-you-face that lasted throughout the whole period or two after PE. Other kids would get cute flushed cheeks, but I certainly did not look cute after PE. I still get this when I exercise, but 1. I have not exercised much since starting IF treatments (yes, I know that is a long time ago...) and 2. I exercise in the privacy of my own home when I do. But anyway....let's not talk about my current exercising habits, or lack thereof, please.

As we swapped our red-faced stories, I thought, "Our kids don't stand a chance - they are going to have the same red-face curse too. There's no way around it with both of us having this trait!" As soon I had the thought it almost pushed forth to be spoken, but I stopped it. I did not say this thought. Because the thought does not feel true anymore - our kids very well may not be biologically related to us, and therefore are very likely to not get the freakishly red faced look after exercising.

This is not the first time I have had to push thoughts like that away. Nor am I particularly sad about this specific trait. But, if you start actually paying attention to how many times you think or say things like, "Our children will have this" or "He has her eyes" or "Where did that trait come from?!" about your own kids, future kids, and others' kids....it is A LOT. And I know you have probably not stopped to count, but as somebody who is currently blocking these types of thoughts from being verbalized about my own future children (and even other people's children because it hurts), I am shocked by how much this is ingrained in us to do. I do it all.the.time. And so do you, I bet.

But most people don't really notice, because it's just so normal. And I'm sad that I have to notice.

14 comments:

Hillary said...

I noticed and pushed down those same sorts of things when we were ttc. It's funny though, because the first thing my husband softly whispered when we met our (adopted) daughter was, "she has the Moon (my maiden name) chin". And it's true, she does.

J said...

You never know...I have a freakish looking thumb and G once said, thank God we are adopting because our kid won't get your thumb. Sure enough, the baby we were suppose to adopt in August, had my thumb and so did her birth mom.

But I know what you mean, I sometimes get sad thinking our child won't get some of our traits, features or quirky habits. HUGS!

Jeanie said...

I'm usually a lurker here, but I had to comment because I have thought of this often lately. Or when other people say, "Your kids are going to be so cute!" It makes me sad/ angry/ want to sit them down and explain to them the horror of what we're going through, even people who know our situation. It just makes me realize how hard all this is.

Melissa G said...

I'm sad you have to notice too. But please know you're not alone in that thought...Not that, that makes it any better.

Oh, and I'm a red face too. That's why we bought an excercise bike that we keep in the garage. No one can see my tomato face. =)

lifebytheday said...

I used to have the exact same thoughts, but the other posters are right...your biological children might not have your traits, and your adoptive children just might! I think you should let yourself say whatever makes you happy and keeps your dream for a family alive. :-)

RMCarter said...

When you were talking about the red face, all I could think about was that Seinfeld episode when George's boss thought he was stealing because when he was asked about it, he was all red faced and sweaty from the gym. The boss thought he looked guilty. :)

On a serious note, I continue to be amazed at the traits (physical and otherwise) I have that match up with my adoptive family. Having said that, I know how painful it is to have these thoughts and I just want to give you a virtual big hug.

A said...

I don't know if this will help you feel better or not, but you might be surprised at how much an adopted child of yours might resemble you. My best friend in 8th grade was the cutest, petite-est girl you have ever seen, and her mom was also the cutest, petite-est mom you ever saw. I had zero idea that she was adopted because her entire family looked/acted alike (she also had an adopted brother who was the spitting image of her dad!)... but then one day I went to her house and saw "The Prayer of an Adopted Child" hanging on her bedroom wall.

I'm praying for you as you prayerfully consider how God might expand your family!

L said...

I know what you mean. Sometimes when people say something to me like, oh you'll be such a cute pregnant person or I'm sure you're kids will be all legs just like you, etc., I feel awful inside. I've actually started saying "if we have kids" instead of "when we have kids" to start preparing myself for what might happen.

Anonymous said...

I agree with A - you never know. I have a good friend who tried for 14 years to have a child. They were finally blessed with adoption. They have a little boy who is now 9 and a little girl who is 7. The little boy looks exactly like his dad ( no joke ) and their little girl looks just like her mom ( my friend ) it truly is amazing. People will tell her all the time - how much her little girl looks like her. She just smiles. I think it is a little extra blessing from God - they went through so much. With all the said - I truly am praying that you will get pregnant..very, very soon!

Meg said...

Even if you end up having 8 biological children, I'm sorry you had to feel that thought today and have to feel sad every single time these thoughts come to mind. I wondered if instead of feeling like you can't verbalize your thoughts, you might write these questions down. Wouldn't it be the coolest thing if you could sit down with your 13 year old one day and say "Look what I wrote down . . . before you were even born I wondered if you'd have my red-exercise-face and you DO!" It would be a reminder now and in 13 years of how God cares about every detail of your life. You could look at your list be reminded now that when you hurt because of these thoughts -- He cares about how much a thought in your mind hurts you. In 13 years, you can look at that red-faced child and laugh and laugh that God turned those hurts into your long-prayed-for miracle. oooooo

Kelli said...

My pastor (who has a son adopted from Taiwan) mentioned that in his sermon last Sunday. He was preaching on James 1:27 and said that although his son looks nothing like him physically, he has many of the same tendencies. He said when he is thinking really hard he will stick his tongue out to the side and he saw his son doing the same thing. LOL

And if your future child is brought to you through adoption, you will get to notice how she twirls her hair like you or he makes a silly face your dh makes, how she speaks with your accent or you catch him singing your favorite childhood song because you have sung it with him so many times.

It is completely normal to think about those things. I do. Yes, it crosses my mind that Jaelyn has her birthmom's eyes and chubby little feet, she has her birthfathers mouth and ears - and she is beautiful! 20 years from now she will still look like them, but her personality, morals, values, interests, quirks, and expressions will all have been shaped by us, because she is OUR daughter.

I love you girl and I hope answers come to you soon. xoxo

MyTwoLines said...

I recently wrote a post that is related to this...how surprised I was to be wrong about my supposed need for a genetic connection to my children. And I feel so connected to these babies already in other ways that a couple of weeks ago I worried for a split second that they would inherit my childhood eczema, before laughing out loud at my 'mistake.' The heart works in crazy ways!

I'm sorry you're sad about all of this....hoping it all gets easier for you.

One Who Understands said...

I have done this so many times. I catch myself every now and then and think, well "our" kids may have none of our traits. It is such a hard thing to face. It breaks my heart to think we may never see a child that is half of each of us. I am not to the acceptance phase yet, but if that is where God plans to take our path I pray I can make it there.

Lu said...

I've done this, too, but until reading your great post, hadn't thought about it in my conscious mind.

To be honest, I thought you were going to say that his boss thought that he was running home for an afternoon delight and that made his face red. Of course, my mind is in the gutter!