I’m interested in peoples stories, that’s why I think people are interested in my story

I realized why I am always wondering what other people are wondering about me concerning having babies. It’s because I wonder the same thing about everyone else. I’ve spent the last ten years asking people, “How old were you when you had your kids?” Mining for stories about the women who had surprise pregnancies at 44 years old. Searching for women brave enough and open enough to tell me stories about using egg donors, IVF, or surrogacy, these women are hard to find. The few that I found would reply, “I used an egg donor, but I keep it quiet. I could talk to you about it though.” These people do not interest me! And maybe that is where the intersection lies, when I am asked about my pregnancy, the delivery, and told, “You look amazing,” I am caught like a deer in headlights. Do I go into the whole story with a stranger on the street? It’s a long story. What I say most is, “The babies were so small, I was so scared, I couldn’t believe they could survive.” Then I go on to say, “Now I know at 5 and 6 pounds they were actually large for twins.” I also throw in the “We were trying for ten years.” After they say how lucky I am to have twins, especially since I got a boy and girl.

jackala,fionabeach

I am very interested in people, their stories, how they get through the day, get through their lives. I am constantly making stories up about people when they post pictures on Facebook, people I don’t know very well. This morning someone had posted some pictures of her family, and I immediately thought, “She comes from money.” I have no basis for this assumption. I am comparing my life to hers, I see an intact family with multiple generations, I’m probably envious. I do this all the time, I compare my life to other peoples, I want information about other people’s lives, when I don’t have it, I imagine. Sometimes I ask questions, but most people are guarded. A lot of people have a hard time telling the truth because they might not know what the truth is anymore. No one is obligated to tell the truth anyhow, secrets are not illegal. But I think curiosity about other people is a curiosity about ourselves, it helps us learn about life. Where ever I take Jack and Fiona the thing that they are most interested in is watching other people.  My brother said, “They are watching to see the reaction of the other kids.” We were looking at the bunny rabbits at the Little Farm. It was more interesting to watch the other kids than the bunnies. I think that says a lot.

fionaatthebeach

The best places to visit are places with no internet service. It’s no fun to go people watching when all the people are nose down in their phones. I definitely don’t want Jack and Fiona growing up in a world where that’s what the people look like. I don’t want them to mimic that behavior. My husband said we need to start watching what we say around the babies. He said we should stop saying Fuck, and that I especially need to stop saying “MOTHER Fucker” because that’s my go to phrase when I hit my foot on the baby gate or step on a toy. He’s right, we can’t have the first words out of Jack and Fiona’s mouth being fuck or shit. So I am going to make a conscious effort. I will stop using those words. I am also aware that many people find my use of “Oh my god” offensive, so I need to stop that one too. I could just replace God with Gosh or Goodness. “Oh Fudge, I’ve got so much un-packing and laundry to do. Gosh Darnit, gotta go now.”

6 thoughts on “I’m interested in peoples stories, that’s why I think people are interested in my story

  1. I’m also very interested in people and their experiences! I love knowing why people are the way they are. We all have a long and complicated story, don’t we? And I love what you said about truth and how we sometimes may not even know what it is anymore!
    LOL, what you said about swearing occurred here, too. When I was pregnant with our first, I told my husband we have to change our vocabulary – I was NOT going to hear a sweet child of mine saying “ugly” words. Haha And so, we kept each other accountable and learned to stop! 😉

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  2. Awesome!! I’m hoping my husband and I can do the same! The funny thing is I used to never cuss!! I’ve only begun in the past few years! Stress!!
    Do you homeschool all your kids? How is it? Do you work with other parents?
    I’ve thought about it, actually after I saw your sight I did some research, but found out it’s not allowed in California.

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  3. Yes, I’ve been homeschooling since our oldest was about four. 🙂 They’ve never been to school. Actually, homeschooling is legal in every state in the US! http://www.californiahomeschool.net/ Laws differ and requirements are certainly not the same, but it is legal in all 50 states. 🙂 Running out of the house right now, but I’ll chime in more on homeschooling later. 😉

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  4. In all that time we were trying again I used to ask others whether they wanted a second child – especially when I could see their kids were the same age as E so it was obviously a bigger gap – in the hope they might be in the same position as me and would want to chat, and shared at 12 Step meetings about our challenge to get pregnant, and never once did anyone say that they were finding it difficult, or any other of those euphemisms we use for infertility. These days I try and be open because you never know when someone wants to talk, and because it’s a real thing and I’m not ashamed of it all. But here in the blogosphere we can all tell honest stories and know that life is a lot more than shiny instagram photos!
    Your comment about language made me laugh. I had the most awful incident, fortunately with my closest and oldest mates, just before E’s 2nd birthday: she was driving me nuts at the time – constantly throwing tantrums because she wasn’t quite strong enough to get what she wanted and didn’t have the words to ask yet – I really was at the end of my tether and fearful that this was how the whole of the ‘terrible twos’ would be. We were staying with a crowd of friends and their kids, and E tipped her bowl of blueberries across the floor and as I reached down under the table to help her pick them up she said “oh f*ck it, f*ck it, f*ck it”… Sitting back up I could see that all 10 of my friends had tears streaming down their faces and their shoulders were silently shaking with laughter. Clearly my language had got totally out of hand in front of E in those frazzled weeks before!! I cleaned my act up immediately and E now shakes her head and says a little heartfelt “oh sugar”, which makes everyone laugh for the right reasons. Good luck 🙂 xx

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  5. That is so funny!!! About the berries! I was laughing! I know what you mean about the blogosphere being a place where people share so much more and I feel I can share almost anything! But sometimes it’s a lonely existence when I really want to have a good conversation about deep stuff with someone in person. I can’t believe no one opened up at the AA meeting, that’s crazy. I really liked your story today too, about the bombings. I really can’t imagine going through something like that. I feel insulated where I live against terrorist stuff. Maybe ignorantly so. My biggest fear is earthquakes and this terrible drought. But even then how close or how much will it affect me?

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  6. Yes, I know – it would be lovely to be able to have such honest conversations in person too, but chasing after a little one – or two in your case – does get in the way of really making those bonds I think. I struggled until maybe 6 months ago to genuinely connect with other mums, simply because I was always half watching E in relation to the traffic / the weird berries on the tree / the sun / the rain etc, etc. Your comments about the drought do make me feel a deep sense of unease: terrorist threats are a thing that intelligence agencies can monitor and fight to a degree at least, climate chaos is something we can’t even all agree exists (duh – look around people), let alone come up with a coherent plan to manage (if it’s not already far too late). It’s a terrible threat and so far off everyone’s radar in any meaningful way. xx

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About Jenny Hynes

I am a painter, housewife, and mother of twins