Yesterday I was thinking of what to post, thinking it had better be a good one since this is my 100th post. I feel like this accomplishment should not pass with just some random daily thoughts. But nothing was coming to me and I was just amusing myself with thoughts from my big present shopping trip yesterday and planning on posting about that.
Then I went to church today. This is the season of Advent, a time of preparation and anticipation. Often people will compare Advent to expecting a child, which makes sense since it is about preparing for the birth of Christ. So there I am sitting in church, when our priest makes this connection. And then he called up all couples who are expecting a child for a special blessing. I'm sure you can all imagine my reaction to that. A million things went through my mind at once. I was upset that I had yet another reminder of this struggle. Angry with yet another extra attention paid to pregnant women. Wishing I could just disappear.
But as my mind (and stomach) started churning, he did something else. He invited any couple who wish they were expecting a child up for a blessing as well. If my thoughts were swirling before, now they were in overdrive. Was this meant for me? Is this some type of sign? Should I go up? Finally, some recognition of others in this expecting journey. Validation. Confusion. We are not "out" in our church. Would everyone expect some announcement after mass? What does DH want me to do? Would it be weird if I went up by myself? Do I look like an unwed mother?*
See, DH is not Catholic. He's currently going through RCIA, which is education for adults to join the church. The people going through this actually leave mass halfway through to talk more about the readings and learn about how the church interprets them. It's great that he is doing this, but since he left mass before this blessing, he was not with me at this moment. I had no way to know how he would feel if I went up there when I knew it would solicit comments afterwards. And he wasn't there for support. Three other couples went up and there I was by myself getting a blessing for expectant mothers.
And the comments definitely came. We have coffee and donuts in our church hall and I tried to find DH quickly to explain what happened. But he was late getting out of his group and ended up seeing some people in our small group first, who of course mentioned it right away. Even a couple we don't know, but recognized each other from church as we both ate brunch at the same place after mass today took that opportunity to introduce themselves to us. It was kinda "hey, I remember you as the single woman going up for a expectant mother blessing, we'll keep you in our prayers." It was nice of them, and they meant well, but still I felt like I had a big scarlet letter on. At least DH was with me this time, so they could see there is a man in my life.
So now we are out. I hope they don't continue to mention it and don't keep asking if we have an announcement.
The blessing was nice. Although I initially felt a jumble of emotions because of the unexpectedness of it, after I had a chance to talk about it with DH, I feel some peace now.
* I don't mean to criticize single mothers (my own raised me and my sister by herself) but obviously the Catholic Church has particular feelings about premarital sex.
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