Family Grief

Sometimes I forget that my barrenness affects more than just me and my husband.

My nephew stood at my elbow in Chick Fil-A last week, holding out a Berenstain Bears book that had come with his meal deal.

“In case you have a child someday,” he said.

There was a momentary, esophageal struggle between the bite I was trying to swallow and the wave of emotion that suddenly rushed up my throat.

“Thank you, B,” I managed, trying to play it cool. My nephew could have no idea that he had just shined a bright beam of sunlight across my insides. This book was more than just a gift. It was hope. “Do you think Uncle Michael and I will have a child someday?”

“Uh, huh.”

“A boy or a girl?”

“A boy.”

“Will you mind that he will be so much younger than you?”

“Na, I’ll let him ride on my back.” B smiled, and I suddenly realized that this dreamchild lives in more than just my own heart. My nephew, too, yearns for a boy cousin, a playmate, and a friend. “He’ll probably follow me around the yard. I’ll teach him to wrestle.”

You know, I think he probably will.