Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A rant about Intimacy

Although the title of this blog may have tweaked the interest of some of my followers, this is not about sex! But please keep reading!
This blog is about how we are at a place in society where it is not considered imposing on ones privacy to say to a practical stranger a comment like "wow there is a lot of space between your kids" or "he's a handful and you wanted more?" and how about "three huh? SO are you done then?"
We recently became proud parents of an All Star baseball player and that has meant that we are now meeting new people (other parents on the team) who we are having to spend a great deal of time with and become acquainted.
I will concede that I am sometimes awkward with this as I am always aware that outward appearances can be quite different from real life and so I take time to get to know someone and I am gentle in my approach. Unfortunately I am amazed how intrusive and even rude other people can be in the way that they try to "break the ice."
In all seriousness and it is serious when I tell you that the above three comments have been said to me by three separate moms on the team over the past month. They did not sense that it was inappropriate, hurtful or too soon in a developing "relationship" to say such things.
I wonder how shocked they would be if I responded with "Space? I had them 3 years apart, one just died" or "A handful sometimes, but alive and well, a blessing, " or "Four actually and there will always be a hole no matter how many children I am blessed to have."
Instead I just smile politely, say nothing and move away from these mothers. I am sure that they feel that I am the one who is rude and in fairness perhaps I am a little rude. I am at peace with that perception because possibly there is a scar that they are hiding from me. I will respectfully take time and allow them to get to know me and decide what and if they would like to share so that we can make allowances for the scars.


  1. I suppose everyone responds to those little intrusions in a different manner. Moving away is an option and I am a believer in choosing your friends carefully.

    I'm often asked why we have such an age gap between Kim (23) and Jia Lin (8), as though we have taken leave of our senses in adopting. There are many examples of other such overly intimate questions about our family that originate from those who don't know us and our story.

    That said, I'm the opposite of "a mover awayer". I'm a "toucher". I may make some people uncomfortable too when I reach over, gently touch their arm and say something akin to, "We lost Kim's younger sister, Lauren in a tragic accident many years ago. The adoption was our way of reaching out, healing and helping. Trust me, it was the best choice I have ever made in my life."

    Usually, following that, ice broken, I hear the other person's story. Almost always, there is a story. And almost always, I walk away with a new intimate friend.

    Just a thought...

  2. That definitely works for some relationships and I do have those moments. Thank you for sharing Carol, it is amazing the assumptions that are made.