My mom has been back to the States from overseas since March. She is an expert in sewing, knitting, and crocheting. I would usually hang out at the kitchen counter sitting with my laptop doing various things when I am home. I often hear my mom’s footsteps coming up the stairs from her bedroom and her mumbling about showing something to me. Every single time it is a new sweater that she has been knitting for someone else’s babies. The wives of my younger male cousins overseas who are expecting. Her friend’s niece. Anyone, but me. In the last two months, she has repeatedly shown me these adorable baby sweaters at various stages of production. Some pink, some rainbow colors, some blue, some green. All adorable. Sometimes only the back side has been done. Sometimes missing just the sleeves. Sometimes the whole finished product. How do I feel? I don’t always feel good when she shows me baby sweaters. But then, I remember there was one time in the past, probably a year ago, when I told her that I didn’t want to see what baby sweater she was knitting. My mom is a wonderful and caring person, but she does not understand my feelings of not wanting to put myself in that situation, to be vulnerable and sad when I see her thoughtful, precious gifts to everyone else’s babies but mine. I tried to explain to her that seeing these sweaters made me sad, but from her reaction, I don’t think she understood. After that one time, I decided that she would probably never understand my feelings. I decided to let it go. If she wants to show me baby sweaters that she’s been knitting for other people’s babies, then I’d let her. This is exactly what I have been doing. So these past two months, I have been smiling at her and telling her that the sweaters are adorable. It does hurt that my mom doesn’t get my feelings, but since she is my mom and it’s not a given that she’d understand my feelings, I decided to let that go too. It is just hard for my mom, someone who never had any problems conceiving, to comprehend the pain and the sense of loss of not being able to see grandma’s handiwork on my own baby.
This sense of loss is not only felt whenever my mother shows me baby sweaters. I actually feel it daily when I walk through my garage to go back to my house. After I park my car, I would walk by boxes of stuff we have stored in the garage. I would look up and see these diaper boxes. Inside the boxes aren’t diapers. There are actually pieces of children’s clothes that one of my best friends gave me even before we started trying for a baby. About seven years ago, she gave birth to her second and last child. She separated the clothes of her older son and her baby girl into genders and ages. She washed them and packed them in boxes that were clearly labeled with “boy”, “girl”, and the age. These boxes have been sitting in the garage gathering dust for the last six years. A year after we started trying, another friend of ours was going to give birth to her second child. She contacted me and asked if she could take the box of newborn clothes for now. She promised to wash and return the baby clothes to us when it is our turn. Three and a half years later, our turn still has not come. I never heard back from that friend. We have lost touched since she gave birth to her third child. I never saw that box of newborn clothes anymore. But the rest of the clothes, up to boy age 5, are still sitting in my garage waiting for someone to make good use of them.
I guess my point is, even though the sight of my mom’s baby sweaters that she makes for someone else, or the sight of the boxes of baby clothes that my friend gave me brings me sadness and pain at times, I am not going to avoid them just because I don’t have a child right now. “Not yet” does not mean “never”. I do believe that one day my mom will be knitting my baby the most adorable sweaters a grandma would make, and my friend’s baby clothes will see the light of day from those diaper boxes again.
I don’t now how and when my baby will come, but I believe that when he/she comes, my mother will go crazy with her baby clothes sewing and knitting. I am very sure of that. For now, I’ll hold onto that vision of me and my mom choosing yarn and fabric for my baby until it becomes a reality.