A shower of lil monkeys & more

This past weekend, we attended M. & R.'s baby shower in Stamford (CT) thrown by Tita R., M.'s mom, at their home.  M. and I have been family friends since we were six years old.  M. & R. came in from OH where they moved a little over a year ago.  To go with their zoo animals theme, my cousins, K. (in from GA) and M. (in from CA), decided to bake monkey cupcakes.  

Naturally, I am ecstatic for M. & R. who have been together for the past 22 years.  For the longest time, they were a couple who'd decided they didn't want kids and were madly content with their familial entourage of farm animals -- dogs, guinea pigs, birds, hamsters -- all who followed them to their new home in OH.  For the longest time, they'd made it clear to family and friends that they were not interested in expanding their family to include children, and no one bothered them about their decision as they remained the favorite uncle and aunt on R.'s side of the family.  

Almost two Christmases ago, M. shared that she and R. changed their minds and were going to be not-so-cautious and try getting pregnant.  At the time, I'd also shared that we'd been trying for quite some time, nothing was happening, and we were eager to start our adoption process.  Beyond first tier testing to be more informed about our fertility as a couple, we'd never been the kind of folks who'd wanted to explore pregnancy through all medical means possible, and we'd discussed adoption as a choice to expanding our family since we dated.  We've also been quite aware that stress does not work in favor of getting pregnant -- from A.'s open heart surgery to Dad's cancer journey and death.  

Still, baby showers are always a source of momentary anxiety as I anticipate the usual -- 
Do you have kids? . . . Why not? . . . Maybe you'll be next?  Comments that M. & I used to endure together for many years.  

I tried very hard to have a positive attitude as this was M. & R.'s celebration, and I am genuinely excited for them.  Still . . . 

I'd just walked through the door and hadn't taken my coat off yet, when . . . there it was. The source of my anxiety.  Tita E., whom I've known since I was a little girl and whose own daughter, C. who married a year ago is pregnant and due next week, greets me with an innocently enough enthusiastic, "Are you next?"

Feeling the not-so-shocking blow but a blow nonetheless, I put my coat and bag down in one of the bedrooms and head straight for the wine bar.  After all, I'm not pregnant, I can drink.  I proceed to have a glass of red, then white, alternate with a bottle of water, then another glass of red.  I was excruciatingly annoyed.  What if we'd been trying to get pregnant, had multiple failed IVF attempts and were crushed that pregnancy was just not an option for us?  

I can accept cultural and generational excuses to some degree.  Not really.  

Thankfully I didn't go ballistic though A. says maybe I should try it next time.  That should quiet any nosy tita who wants to know when I'll be next.  

As the evening went on, another tita who happens to be an adoptee herself and whom I hadn't seen in years felt comfortable enough to ask, Do you have kids?  I responded, Not yet. But we're in the adoption process.  

No reaction.  Our conversation ended there.

Still, K., M. & I had a lovely time catching up.  I was heartened when M. introduced us to her other friends as her "sisters."  I was even more charmed by the three playful four-year-olds at the festivities, one of whom especially reminded me of a young apl. from the band Black Eyed Peas, who was sponsored through PSB (our agency).    

Four seems to be a great age.  Maybe our lil monkey will look just like him.

Wishing M. & R. a most healthy pregnancy as they wait to welcome X.!