That is the question I got from a parent of one of my students a couple days ago. They have a week-old baby boy and they want to bring him for their son’s show and tell time in my classroom tomorrow. I didn’t know how to answer, so I said, “Ummmm” a lot before asking weren’t they concerned about the high level of germs at a school? They said no, he’s already been out so if he was going to get something, he’d already have it. I finally said I had to check with the office and asked if I could get back to them. I felt frustrated and hurt that they didn’t realize this might be hard for me. (Since I teach a K-3rd special education class, I have students for multiple years. Their son was in my class last year and they know about Luke. They had sent me a gift for him and we had exchanged one email about his loss.) It has been 9 months now since Luke was born, so I feel less sensitive about this than I did earlier on in the grief process, but I still have yet to be close to a brand new baby. I thought about it awhile and discussed it with my mom, my aides and the front office staff. None of them realized until I pointed it out that it might be hard for me emotionally. Everyone seemed to think it was a little funny and maybe not what they’d choose to do with their own baby, but fine.
I decided I couldn’t really justify saying no. I called the parents back to say that they could bring the baby. After a brief discussion, the mom said, “Are you sure YOU’RE okay with it?” to which I finally got to acknowledge that I’m not sure if I am. I told her I thought I might be able to handle it, but that if I couldn’t, I would just leave the room. I found myself thinking about it alot while trying to go to sleep last night. I guess I could use some prayers in handling this tomorrow morning please.
I can’t help but feel some of my old human feelings creep in, like why do these people who already have 3 kids with special needs and live on government assistance get another baby when I couldn’t even get my first one? Why do Josh and I, who both work more than full-time, have an over $3000 hospital bill (our 20% after insurance) that we are paying on and these people get baby after baby at zero cost to them because they are on state insurance? Arg. It is a consistent struggle against seeing things as “unfair” that are not mine to judge or understand. Lord, help give me your eyes and your perspective. I know we have so much to be thankful for.