Misty

I remember watching the gold medal beach volleyball game in the Beijing Olympics five years ago.

I don’t recall any specific points, amazing digs, or even who Misty May and Kerri Walsh played to win the medals. However, I vividly remember the interview after the match on television. May and Walsh were dripping with sweat, exhausted, and overwhelmed by the victory. They had smiles so big it made my cheeks hurt just watching them. The reporter asked them about the game. All the typical questions like “When did you know the medal was yours?”, “Who carried who through those last points?”, “How does it feel to have two gold medals?”

Then the reporter went on to ask about future plans. “What’s next for the Misty May/Kerri Walsh duo?”

The two women embraced and gave each other a huge, sparkling grin. “Motherhood!”, they exclaimed. Misty May admitted that they both wanted to take some time off to “start a family” and when she returns to the court she “wants to have her kids see her play.”

Fast forward to 2013. Kerri Walsh is the proud mother of three children. Her two boys got to see their mom win another gold medal during the 2012 London Olympic games, and she was five weeks pregnant with her daughter when she sang the anthem and the U.S. flag was raised.

Misty May did not have kids watching her in London. At least not kids of her own.

There may be many different reasons for that. She and husband, professional baseball player Matt Treanor, may have decided not to have children. Maybe Misty wants to focus on her career. I know she recently went back to school to get her Master’s in Coaching and Athletic Administration. She also competed on Dancing with the Stars and has traveled the U.S. giving training camps to young girls and coaches. (Umm, yes I am officially her stalker).

It’s true, Misty could have decided that “motherhood” just wasn’t her thing.

Yet, I can’t help but think back to that interview that took place minutes after accomplishing one of the greatest athletic feats in the world. Even in those victorious moments after the game, she was looking ahead. She seemed so excited to embark on the journey of motherhood alongside her teammate and friend.

Because of this, I thought about Misty a lot when Mark and I struggled to have our first child. I wondered if she went through similar doctor’s appointments. Or if she had moments of the same kind of sadness I felt. Even now I think about Misty as our plans to have a large family are in flux.

I know I’m making wild assumptions about Misty when I pretend that we have parallel lives to any extent. From what I’ve read, it sounds like she’s a very strong woman. She doesn’t allow things to bring her down for long. I’m sure, if she dealt with any of the stuff I’m imagining she went through, that she handled it much better than I did.

Still part of me wants to give her a hug. I have no idea how it would feel to announce something like that to billions of people. I know how it feels to announce happy expectations to a very small network of people and have things not turn out as expected. Let me say, it’s not fun. You know people are doing exactly what I’m doing to Misty in this post. They’re wondering…what happened? Can I ask? Are they working on it?

I should know better. It’s none of my business.

Misty, I apologize, but I do want to thank you for being my imaginary friend throughout these experiences.

I’ll still pray for you and Matt too, and keep anticipating a baby announcement on the Misty May-Treanor Facebook fan page (that I just happen to check on a regular basis).

Okay seriously, I’m creepy…but hopeful.

For them and for us.

The Guilt Trip

IMG_0271

I saw it already. Or at least, I thought I saw it.

Evy using my love for her against me. I know she’s only 10 months, but I swear she’s done it. One time when she fell over and started to cry, I went to get her but she reached for someone else, then gave me the scrunchy face.

Another time, I had been away for the night. The first night separated from her since she arrived. When I rushed in to greet her, I expected elation, a smile, and arms reaching for a hug. What I received were screams. Loud, unbearable, angry screams.

Both times, I could feel my heart shatter.

Part of me wanted to whine, kick my limbs around, and scream, “BUT YOUR MINE! YOU HAVE TO LOVE ME THE MOST!”

I’m glad I had the maturity to stop myself though. It’s a beautiful thing that Evy is social enough to find comfort elsewhere and that she has plenty of people to shower her with love. However, I have to admit, that scrunchy face and the screams were tough. If I’m logical, I realize she doesn’t know any better.

But I can see into the future. And also look back at how I was as a child.

All kids use it.

The guilt trip.

I can foresee a time when Evy will deny me her love because she wants to get back at me. When I leave her alone. When I don’t pick her up after she bumps her head. When I don’t give her a treat. When I take away a toy.

As I think about her reaction in those moments, I can’t help but think about how often we do that to God.

We deny him our love and attention when things don’t go our way. When prayers aren’t answered. When life is hard. When consequences seem unfair. When He takes away what we hold dear.

I believe parenthood gives a glimpse, a very small glimpse, into how this feels. It pains me to see her go through the challenges of growing. I get why she’s frustrated at the world. Every task she attempts has its own obstacles. My love for her is so deep, so big, that I feel her pain and frustration like its my own.

How much more is it like that for God?

Just like a child doesn’t know why growing has to be so difficult, us adults don’t know either. Sometimes we act out in our frustration. We give our Creator the scrunchy face and say “why did you let that happen? why did you do that to me?”

When we do this, God has every right to scream “BUT YOUR MINE! YOU HAVE TO LOVE ME THE MOST!”

But He doesn’t. Even with all the guilt trips. Even when we say He doesn’t care.

His love is deeper. Bigger. Completely unconditional and beyond anything we can fathom.

A love that I’ll never live up to as a mom, but I’m glad I have my heavenly Father to call on for advice when the guilt trips come.

I’m pretty sure He has enough experience with them.