Cheese. Smile. Snap.

“So…how old is your baby now?”

Inside, I cringed and maybe even cowered away at the question. Externally, trapped though I was waiting in line to take one of our kindergarteners for photo retakes, I smiled sadly and said, “I don’t have a baby.”

The parent who’s child was in our class last year and clearly had heard my name churned out by the rumor mill, replied, ‘Huh, I thought you were pregnant. That wasn’t you?”. I could see her doing the math in her head, glancing at my not so slim figure and trying to recall who it was that was supposed to have a child in the fall.

I could’ve said, “No.” I could’ve ended it at that and avoided much of the awkwardness, but somehow I couldn’t bring myself to lie.

“No,” I said, “that was me, but I don’t have a baby now.”

Her face grew instantly flushed, “Oh, I’m so sorry!” she mumbled, turning towards me and reaching out a hand. She almost put her arm around me, but something made her withdraw that touch. Her friend, another parent who’s eyes never left the floor said, “oh…..”.

“I didn’t hear, ” she said.

“It’s ok,” I told her, ” I didn’t exactly broadcast the news. There’s no way you could know.”

“That’s so hard, ” her friend muttered, quickly busying herself with her son, who’s hair was destined to revolt into a staticky cowlick before photos would commence. I blinked back a tear and cleared my throat to chase away the lump that had surfaced.

For fifteen minutes, I shuffled behind them in line, making small talk, chatting about hot lunch, distracting myself with the little girl at my side who told me her mom wouldn’t let her wear her Halloween costume for pictures.

Shuffle, stop, small talk, shuffle, stop, small talk,  shuffle, stop, small talk, stop.

Cheese, smile, snap.

Back to class, back to normal.

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13 Responses to Cheese. Smile. Snap.

  1. blueorchid82 says:

    Oh man. You handled that way better than I would have, and to endure 15 minutes of awkward small talk after that? Ugh. I applaud you.

  2. Krysta says:

    This is one of the hardest things to handle… truly. It’s bad enough to grieve on your own, but it’s really hard when people, who do mean well, ask you about the baby you no longer have. I applaud you for responding the way that you did! I have such a hard time with those questions, and never know how to respond when people ask how many kids we have, if our 3 year old is our oldest, etc… it all depends on the situation for me, because while I will (and do!) speak openly in some situations, I tend to keep quiet in others. You are inspiring to me, and I really think I should be more open – all the time. BIG hugs to you!

    • CGsaysstuff says:

      Thank you so much ;). I admit I don’t always speak up, when asked ‘do you have kids’ I’ve generally replied no, but this moment felt much more personal, I know that she she I was pregnant, it just felt strange to lie.

  3. Alexis McM says:

    I respect your ability to handle this situation so gracefully. I think it is important to acknowledge what we’ve been through. It makes people uncomfortable but it’s part of us. Good for you and I hope you don’t have to handle too many more of these situations.

  4. Caroline says:

    What a tough situation – how sweet of you to offer so much grace!

  5. Mish says:

    I have been there! Though in my case I had completely forgotten that that person knew I was pregnant. And for a few awkward seconds, I myself was completely clueless as to what baby she was talking about! Awwwwwk-ward.

    • CGsaysstuff says:

      Wow, awkward is right! It’s not a fun spot to be in, but it’s just a moment, and it passes

      • Mish says:

        I am now — after a long long long road — the mother of a perfect 9 month old. For me, at least, all the drama (oh the drama!) is a fuzzy memory. I am wishing the same for you.

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