It happened again last night. I was getting ready to lead church choir practice when one of the older women whipped out her brand new iPad. “Want to see my favorite picture?” she asked me.
I said, “Sure,” but I was thinking, “No, not really.” I had had one of those afternoons when I question the purpose of my life, when I feel awful because I’m alone and getting older and nothing seems to be worth the effort. What, Sue has those days? Yes, I do. You look back, and most of the older generation has died. You look forward, and there’s nobody there. And you ask the dog, “Why bother?” The dog wags her tail. She moseys over and licks my face. She doesn’t worry about such questions, only when do we eat and when are we going for a walk?
Back at choir practice. I just know this is going to be a baby picture. Yep. It’s her son and granddaughter. Her son looks like my late husband, and of course the granddaughter is cute. This is not the day to show me that picture. “Nice,” I say, hurrying back to the piano.
As the choir trickles in, she has to show everyone the picture. This is a woman who didn’t even have email a month ago, and now she’s toting an iPad full of family photos everywhere she goes.
Rehearsal comes to a halt every time someone new walks in and has to see the picture. Then they’re pulling out their Smartphones to show their own grandchildren. Meanwhile, I just want to get through the songs and get the heck out of there. Not one person realizes that their director’s emotions are so raw that one more mention of family and she’ll bleed on the piano keys.
It’s the mom club and she’s not a member.
Most of the time I’m okay, but sometimes, it still hurts like crazy. To all the mothers and grandmothers out there, yes, your baby pictures are beautiful, but sometimes it hurts to look at them. Forgive me if I don’t linger over your beloved photos. I just can’t. But if you’d like to see a few dozen pictures of my dog . . .
Have you ever experienced this, where you feel totally left out of the mom club and full of emotions you don’t know what to do with? What do you do?