Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Finally Told

We went to a party a few weeks ago and, since most of our close friends were there, decided to break the news about our baby.

Now, there were some interesting responses that night. Some even made it a point to trace back to the moment my wife and I first made physical contact — at a restaurant in Thai Town during a birthday party. It was our first date. I was holding the hand of my wife-to-be, about to give her a hand massage, and when someone asked if everyone had paid their share of the bill, we turned around to a roomful of stares, all watching me holding my wife's hand. I was shocked, she was both shocked and embarrassed. Okay, so I don't embarrass easy.

But there was one response I didn't expect during the party. It was from the ex-wife of a former roommate of mine. They were dating when I still lived at his condo, about 9 years ago or so. She said, "I hate you."

Now, if this were said by a typical Millennial, I might say, "huh," and just shrug my shoulders, which I often do when Millennials say the darnedest things. Things like, "I don't understand why I can't just keep a bottle of scotch in my drawer and take a swig whenever I want to." That was from a coworker in accounting. But this "I hate you" was from a woman in her early 40s.

Will someone please help me understand this comment? I'm sure it's something silly and that I should just take it as a compliment. I like to think I keep pretty up on the lingo and social trends, but I can't quite wrap my head around the psychology of this response.

Anyway, the wife and I struggled for well over a year to conceive this baby. I would at least expect a congratulations from your so-called "close friends." Actually, everyone else at the party did congratulate us, I'm happy to report. But it always seems to be that one response that gets under your skin.

My family also knows about the baby now, and I got mostly congratulations on this as well. My sister, however, gave me an interesting warning. She said her in-laws didn't allow her to be a mother to her son until he started to show some behavioral problems they couldn't handle. As soon as that happened, they were like, "Okay, here's your son back. He's all yours."

My wife is an only child. Her parents raised her like a son. My in-laws have been very loving to me, probably more than my own parents, to be perfectly honest, and my wife hints it's because they've always longed to have a son. But if we have a boy, I do have to wonder how my in-laws will respond — with pure joy, I'm sure, but it may even go beyond that.

Well, my wife and I will be working parents. We'll need all the help we can get. It helps to have some loving grandparents willing to do the occasional parenting. Just hope I'm right about that.