Thursday, May 8, 2014

Apparently you don't tell people when they're driving....

On Monday, my husband decided it was time to tell someone other than my friend who needed to talk me off the ledge.  We adopted a teenager several years ago, and we kept debating when we should tell her.  Initially we thought we should tell her right away, so she was a part of the whole thing, but my husband pulled back on that a couple of days later and decided maybe we should make it through our first doctors appointments first.  I was fine with that.  I did think we should tell her before everyone else, but I also understand his need to be cautious.  Things don't usually go well or work out for us.  Everything tends to be about 200% harder than it is for other people, so both of us have been going into this expecting the potential for the worst.  We don't really want to tell a lot of people and then have to back track and explain if something goes wrong.  At the same time, I felt like she'd be really upset if something did go wrong and she didn't know.  She'd be angry that we didn't include her so she could share in that emotional journey as well.  But I am also fine with being cautious.  So, we were going to wait.  Then, on Monday, we were talking about vacation plans for the year and my husband said something like "Well, we'll have to get everything in before October" in front of adopted daughter, and I just gave him this look of panic because I was sure she'd ask why.  She didn't, but I sort of freaked out because we live with her and talk to her every day.  How many more times could we have a slip like that?  I think he thought the same thing, because he came over and said "I think maybe we should explain" and I said that was fine.

Except that my husband needs a lot of time to work his way up to talking about anything, so we didn't explain just then.  We decided to go get ice cream, and while we were in the car he kept looking back at me with that "Well?" look and I kept nodding that it was fine.  She was driving.  I'm not sure why I decided to let him do all the talking.  I am usually the talker, but saying it out loud is still strange to me.  He started out very serious, and I could tell he was scaring the crap out of her.  He said "So, we have something we need to talk to you about, and it can't leave this car" which immediately set off some sort of panic trigger in her.  She gave him a shifty eyed "Ok...." and he started explaining that we were taking some time off in the next couple of weeks because we had to go see a doctor, and at that moment I realized that she probably thought one of us had cancer.  He sounded that awkward/grim/serious about the whole thing.  When he ended it with "Because we're going to have a baby" she screamed.  That was followed by a lot of "Oh my god, you're kidding!  Oh my god, seriously?!  Holy crap!  Holy crap, I thought I had done something terrible and you were mad at me.  Oh my god, I thought it was something so bad!  I'm shaking!  Can you see how much I'm shaking?  YOU CAN'T TELL ME THINGS LIKE THIS WHEN I'M DRIVING!" followed by more screaming.  We might be counting ourselves lucky that she didn't crash the car.

I think that's the first time it's seemed "real".  It's the first reaction we've actually witnessed, and although it was loud and scream filled, it was positive.  I keep having this vision that most reactions won't be positive.  I keep thinking that most people are going to be snide, or crappy about it.  I anticipate a lot of "I thought you guys were never having kids" or "It's about damn time" or "Really?  You just never struck me as a mom" and those are the reactions I dread most.  This one was the opposite.  There were hugs, and smiles, and it was nice to have someone who wasn't the least bit shitty about it.

But, lesson learned.  Apparently you can't tell people things like this when they're driving.


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