4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42…

On the heels of The Worst Year Ever, I played the lottery. And won. Not the alluded-to “Mega Millions,” mind you. A hundred and fifty bucks. The same as 19,000 other Lost fans who put their money on Hurley’s unlucky digits and reaped a modest reward. I couldn’t have been more pleased. 2011, I decided instantly, was going to be different. Better. A vast improvement over the previous 12 months, for The Great and Powerful G-d (or, perhaps more accurately, the state lottery commissioner), had just thrown me a bone. I could feel it: The winds of change done come.

And not least of which because I’d changed.

In no small part thanks to The Worst Year Ever, I had perspective. It was a good day. Good: The state of not sucking. Bad: Pushing the limits of fucking terrible.

Papa Pro-Pro and I had come to a whole new appreciation for our own capacity to appreciate what’s right and lovely and to tolerate the icky and uncomfortable. We had an understanding: We’d tell precious few people about our failed baby-making save in those circumstances where to stay quiet would be unbearable to either one or both of us. (Hell, where we’ve already been stripped of the experience of getting knocked au natural – a luxury a full 90 percent of humanity can go ahead and take for granted – we, at the very least, reserve the right to surprise our loved ones with news of our fam’s expansion when and where and how we see fit, thank you very much!) We agreed that, while we couldn’t define the parameters of “unbearable,” we’d know it when it manifest itself.

And time and again, it came close. Precariously.

Case in point, on Friday, my mother-in-law (read: Bubbie-in-Waiting) arrived in town for a visit and, with her, an onslaught of affection and pride with a side of now-that-you’ve-got-this-great-little-house-what-about-kids? She didn’t know that we were wondering (nay, obsessing) about the very same thing. Just like she didn’t know, because we didn’t tell her, that my Saturday morning endocrinologist’s appointment was actually her son’s second visit with a urologist who confirmed, through a series of invasive ultrasounds, that there isn’t a way in the world bonin’ for babies is getting us anywhere. Not now. Probably not ever.

Perspective: We left the, ahem, “endocrinologist’s” office smiling. At least we’d be able to make a nice, solid case to the insurance company about why, pray tell, they ought to foot the bill for IUI. Oh, sweet relief. The Projected Pops has inoperable obstructions in his seminal vesicles! For the next two days we could hardly contain those little knowing smiles. The winds of change done come. We had ourselves some answers!

And, ah, the Bubbie-in-Waiting saw those smiles and grew mistakenly fearful that we might, just maybe, not be taking her grandmotherly longing as seriously as we ought. So she took this opportunity for unprecedented face time to advise us on the subject – no fewer than 14 times in three days not counting the conversation about the new fertility clinic that sprung up in town and which sees a flurry of activity from “women smuggling their husbands’ deposits in their bras because these things have to be a certain temperature so the doctors can work with them.” No! No really?!

The first half dozen baby references I can’t fault her. (A grandmother to one most precious baby boy, she’s addicted to the experience, in love with the little one, eager for more.) So we gulped and smiled and joked and made believe and whispered words of comfort behind closed bedroom doors. The next half dozen baby references, however, well…

Close to, but not exactly, unbearable and still Bubbie-in-Waiting boarded a flight back to Charleston none the wiser about her developing case of Foot-in-Mouth Disease.

And then, in close succession, it happened: that something that was so unbearable to each one and both of us that we’d be remiss to keep our mouths shut. We’d proposed a double date with the Papa-Pro’s bro and his wife: the ma and pa of aforementioned beautiful baby boy. We hoped to play catch up. We hoped to explain in person why it was that we couldn’t commit to that family vaycay a full six months in advance. We hoped to come clean. So, per chance, how’s about we have ourselves a date night? Get thee a sitter. Join us. We have to talk.

In jest perhaps (we hoped) but no less painful came the e-mailed response: “A sitter? What’s wrong with you childless people?”

Come again!?!

What’s wrong with you childless people?

Well, gee willickers, let’s see…

Zero percent morphology. Low volume. Low testosterone. Inoperable obstructions in the seminal vesicles? So came the tearful phone call. It’s like this…

Personally, though, I prefer to talk about what’s right: Like, we presumed people with kids sometimes, rarely perhaps, but sometimes, make grown-up time. (Because they do.) Or we dared trust close others not to judge us but to listen, to inquire how they might be supportive. (This is never too much to ask. It doesn’t, however, guarantee your brother-in-law won’t decry your unwillingness to make vacation plans – even if he knows it’ll cost you a cycle.) And you want to know what else? We’re gonna be just fine.

Hurley’s unlucky digits just paid for solo date night! No baby talk. No b.s.. No need to explain away our six month plans. Just us. Just easy. Just love. ‘Cause the winds of change done come.

About Projected Progenitor

Projected (adj.) (prə-ˈjekt-ed): From the 15th Century Anglo-French 'projector,' from Latin 'projectus.' Devised in the mind, predicted. Progenitor (n.) (prō-ˈje-nə-tər): Middle English, from the 14th Century Anglo-French 'progenitour,' from Latin 'progenitor,' meaning 'to beget.' An ancestor in the direct line, foreparent.
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