Child’s Play

Red-Rover, Red-Rover let Julie come over! Julie lets go of my hand and rushes to the other side. Excitedly they snag her. Now she is a part of their team.

You know the game, Red Rover. It is the kid’s game where you form two opposing lines across an open field, facing one another. Everyone in each line locks arms and takes turns inviting a member of the other team to come over. And the strategy is to catch that person so they will then join your team and your line grows longer and longer while the other team’s line gets shorter and shorter until there is only one person left on that team. Game over.

I’ve been playing my own little game of Red Rover for years now. Only my team consists of all women… women with no children. The other team is a far, far larger team consisting entirely of mommies. Several of the members of my team are single and that’s the only reason they are still on the team. But then there are other players who, like me, have tried to have children. Prayed and begged and pleaded to have children. Some of us have even sought radical medical assistance to have children. Yet we still stand on THIS side of the field.

Over the years my line has gotten dramatically shorter. One by one I have watched as team members get called to the opposite side. Last year I lost another member and the line became shorter again. The really painful part about losing Julie to the other team was that she was a lot like me. She had been trying for years and seeking medical assistance. She too was familiar with the unique combination of hope and heartbreak that repeats over and over in carefully measured 28-day cycles. Because of our shared suffering, Julie was a little bit more valuable to the team as far as I was concerned.

“Red-Rover, Red-Rover let Julie come over!” They chanted. I guess it is her turn. She’s been chosen. Her hand slips from my grasp and I can do nothing but watch the back of her as she races toward the other side with total abandon. They snatch her up in their network of tightly-linked arms, thrilled to have gotten another member. She is welcomed onto the team.

My arm hangs limp at my side, my palm empty until I find another hand to hold. I see her across the width of the field… which oddly becomes wider with each passing year. She has locked arms with them now, and when our eyes meet… she is beaming. I am happy for her, but I will miss my teammate.

I slide over to compensate for the gap that her absence has created and I reluctantly take the hand of the woman now beside me. My line becomes one more person shorter.

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12 thoughts on “Child’s Play

    • Please don’t be sad, mom. Though I know you probably still will be… it’s OK. I didn’t want to post this to make people sad or feel sorry for me… It is just a part of my story… and I tell it because it is a part of my writing and maybe there are others out there who can relate.

  1. I can totally relate and would gladly hold hands with you. I will not go into detail, but when one door closes another will open. The important thing to me is standing strong with my spouse while picking up the pieces and moving forward. I understand where you are coming from when you say it is not to make people feel sorry for you and that it is more about being relateable. We all have our own rollcoaster ride of life and handle life to the best of our abilities. It helps to have love and support from the people who are in your inner circle. Take Care and Great Post:)

    • Thank you Renee. Thank you for sharing that you understand what this place is like to be in.. though I wish for you that you did not. Make sense? 😦 I have long ago hoped that no matter what happened in my life as far as this was concerned, I would certainly want to use my experiences to help others in a similar situation. It is a unique place to find oneself… A place that no one can ever prepare you for. But they can link arms with you, reminding you that you are not alone… just as you have done today. And even from thousands of miles away. Thank you SO much.

      • That is what I try to do to is share my experience so people can relate and know that they truly are not alone. I could think of worse battles to fight and like you said nothing can prepare you for it. I think I would have fallen to pieces if I did not have my sweetie in my life holding me and my sanity together somedays. I am just so very grateful and truly blessed for what I do have in my life and that includes one patient man that loves me.

    • Thank you Linda. It’s OK. It is something I have learned to live with. But I do like to share the writing in case there are others who can relate or may need to know that they are not alone either.

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