True confessions time: we have a childless-fist-bump. Yep, it’s a thing in our house. It’s code for dodged-a-bullet-there moments. We can deliver it quite subtly. Sometimes. Other times we get caught. Just a month ago we got caught during Church, as our friend realized what we were doing and barely stifled a laugh.
It might sound odd that the girl who’s poured out her heart in longing for a baby also bumps knuckles to celebrate childless moments. And really, it took a lot of tears before I could make it to the cheers.
The fist-bump is about celebrating the as-things-are-right-now moments, without thinking about whether they’ll stay that way. For today, we’re childless. And while that has brought ache, there are also a lot of things about our lives that are way easier than all those poor suckers who ARE parents.
The first rule of the childless-fist-bump is that it’s never used in condemnation. Grace, grace. We are in humbled awe of people raising little people.
The second rule of the childless-fist-bump is to attempt subtlety whenever possible. No flaunting. This may or may not be more of a “guideline” as we age.
The third rule of the childless-fist-bump is to use it properly. As Auntie Boo and Uncle J, we have plenty of snot-faces to clean, boo-boos to kiss, and tantrums to survive. And we love all the littles in our life. Fiercely. It’s just that AT SOME POINT THEY GO HOME. Cue fist-bump.
Other examples of proper childless-fist-bump moments include …
… when a toddler is throwing a tantrum in the grocery store … or at Target … or in the parking lot … or at the movie theatre … or at the park … or at Disneyland … actually, especially at Disneyland.
… while in line for TSA at the airport. Yep, you frequent flyers know what I’m talking about.
… when a long drippy piece of snot is snaking it’s way down a child’s face and into their mouth. GAH! I can hardly type it.
… when we get to go to sleep WHENEVER. WE. WANT. TO.
… when we get to stay in bed AS. LONG. AS. WE. WANT. TO.
… when a scent drifts across the room. You know the one. Chasing your nostrils down like a toxin. Challenging you to keep a straight face and pretend you don’t smell it. (To be fair, our dog makes the same smell, sometimes worse, but at least there’s no diaper to change in her world – yet – oh Lord have mercy if I ever have to change my DOG’s diaper.)
… when we have only two schedules to consult before booking a trip. No cross-referencing with school, soccer, dance, gymnastics or chess matches (hey, our kid could’ve been a chess genius, it’s possible).
… when our house is QUIET. Which is almost always. Amen.
… when we hear about labor and delivery. Any of it. All of it.
Really, the childless-fist-bump started as a way to capture small victories, small moments to defeat the emptiness and replace it with reminders of the good. Is there any part of your life that needs a fist-bump right now?
When you’ve cried enough, it’s time to laugh. And while not intentionally directed at infertility, I don’t know if I’ve seen a funnier video than this.
And if we ever do have kids, I imagine the fist-bump will look more like this:
This post is dedicated to “the other side” of infertility loss, as Resolve.org hosts National Infertility Awareness Week. For a more serious take, go here … or here … or here. And for medical facts on the disease, go here.