So, I’ve been on a little blog hiatus. It wasn’t intentional but we moved and it turned into the longest move in history. I should probably add that it wasn’t actually a long distance move (really it was a few miles) but it took weeks to actually get all of our crap out of the old place and into the new. We had a whole plan of “going through everything and purging. We’re going to become minimalists!” And while there was definitely purging involved (I finally threw away the candle from my 1999 high school prom. I’m Lindsay, and I’m a hoarder), it got to the point of “just throw it in the car, we’ll take care of it later” instead of “let’s do what’s right and just get rid of it”. That all took over 2 weeks of time. TOO long! But, we are finally all in and now the organizing/where the hell does this thing go phase (which inevitably will take another too long period of time, but hey, at least we’re moved!) begins.
Obviously what comes with the actual moving of boxes and crap when you move, also comes the new surroundings, the new people, and the new routine. We have already met some super friendly neighbors who have made the new surroundings/new people part of the move feel more comfortable. We know the area so that helps. We know the restaurants, stores, and schools in the area. Figured out our new commute to work, the quickest short cuts to avoid the lights and traffic. And obviously we’ve already got the local Dominos on speed dial. On the sunny days we’ve had, there have been kids riding their bikes, running around the street, there’s even a playground right down the road. Very similar to where I grew up, which is also adding to the comfort factor. Many of the new neighbors have come to introduce themselves, told us they will invite us over once we’re settled in, showed us who lives where, and let us know it’s a great street for kids.
Then the inevitable “Do you have kids?” question happens.
“We have a son but he passed away a little over a year ago.” Cue the “Oh, I’m so sorry” reaction that I’ve mentioned before. Now we are obviously getting more used to this question (although it’s never going to be a question I’m going to WANT to be asked) but Bear told me what he told a new neighbor the other day, and I’m most definitely going to be stealing his response for the future. He was telling me how one of our new neighbors asked if we had any children and he told him our situation. The neighbor gave the obligatory response, because honestly, what else is anyone supposed to say (me included when I find myself on the other side of the question/response of a parent telling you their child has passed away).
Bear’s response was “Thank you, but it’s ok, we like to talk about him!” Mind blown! I don’t know why this hasn’t been my answer every time! I may have said something similar in the past to someone who’s asked, but for some reason when he told me what he said, it made so much sense to me and here’s why.
I’ll be honest and say that I feel like people may be nervous to approach us or talk to us or know what to say after finding out about Quinlan. I don’t blame them! It will never NOT be an awkward situation to meet someone and ask what is typically a pretty “normal” question when meeting two married, 30-something year olds “Do you have kids?” You expect a simple “No, we don’t” or “We do. We have a crazy 2 and a half year old who keeps us on our toes!” But then upon finding out their only child has passed away, you feel nothing but awkward. Adding to that, what if you know/recognize someone from school, work, friend of a friend, etc. You know their child has passed away and you randomly see them out some day. Would you A) avoid them at all costs – because there are certain situations that this just might be me B) approach them but not know what to say and walk away dwelling on the fact that you may have said something that didn’t come out the way you planned and now feel horrible – again, this could absolutely be me or C) know exactly what to say to someone you know/recognize but haven’t seen since their child passed away, and have all the exact right words, not feel awkward at all because talking about that subject is totally “normal” and walk away feeling great about yourself – this would NEVER be me!
So, if people could know that we enjoy talking about Quinlan, maybe it would make it less awkward. I personally don’t believe you will ever have a situation like option C, but maybe something in between B and C would make it a little less uncomfortable for both of us. I don’t want people to feel awkward around me. I guess that is my biggest sentiment to put out there.
Bringing up Quinlan should not be bringing up his passing. It should be about his amazing life. His contribution to the medical world. His really soft hair, and his smile that spoke volumes.
So yes, I have a son. He was amazing. And let’s talk about him.