I Have a Son
Usually the conversation begins with a simple introduction, followed by standard get-to-know you questions.
What do you do? How long have you been doing that? Are you married?
Do you have any children?
This is the part where my breath gets sucked out of me and my mind races, desperately grasping for the correct answer.
I have two options. The first is to deny my child's existence. To hide him. To simply say "no" to avoid making people feel uncomfortable. To avoid opening up a vulnerable part of my life to someone new. Taking this road makes me feel like I am dishonoring my precious baby. It makes me feel guilty, as if I am ashamed of him. I just can't do it.
The second option is to tell the truth.
The answer is yes. Yes, I have a son named Ethan.
How old is he?
Well you see, there is where it gets tricky. I'm an awkward situation just waiting to unfold in front of you. Soon, you'll be the one desperately grasping for words and I'll feel horrible for placing you in that position. I know I'll scare some people away with my answer. I do not want to, but I know I will. People are afraid of awkward situations (I'll be the first to admit that I am). But my hope is that my vulnerability will create a connection with some; We are all broken and sometimes vulnerability is all it takes to build a bridge.
Yes, I have a son named Ethan. He was born last August and had the sweetest face. He lives in Heaven now, but I am so happy to know that I will see him again someday. Don't feel bad for asking. I love talking about him. Meeting him was one of the greatest joys I have ever experienced.