I have a secret. It’s something I didn’t even realize myself until recently. In fact, I couldn’t even really put a finger on it until I was ready to admit it to myself first. It’s not a big secret and I know I’m not alone, well,l I know at least one other person that had this secret too. You’d probably never even guess if I told you to – even if I said I would wait, and I would…wait that is.
See, there’s this sort of… “club” and I’m not in it. Not really. Sure, I get invited to hang out, but I’ll never have the membership card to prove anything. Nobody will ever sit me down and show me the secret handshake, or teach me the special knock. I realize there’s really nothing I can do about this, the club is closed to me and that’s understandable, but it doesn’t stop me from being jealous. Just a tiny bit.
I’m not jealous all the time, just some of the time. And it’s not really jealously, but a sort of twinge in my heart that’s there to remind me, to keep me in check. The twinge says: “You may have been invited to the party but you don’t get to stay for the show”. It reminds me of all the things I’m not really a part of. It reminds me of all the things, that no matter how hard I try, will never be reciprocated back to me. They just can’t, and that’s ok, that’s the way it should be because some of those things aren’t mine to have. Not yet.
It’s that love between a parent and child, father and daughter. It’s the thing that’s not mine to either have, or understand. Yet, it makes you want to be part of its warm embrace, keeping you safe. That unconditional love that can only occur in those very special relationships, the ones that go much deeper than us non-parents can sometimes understand.
I had a friend who already had two children when she met her boyfriend. After awhile, he started talking about wanting children of his own, much to my friend’s surprise. She didn’t get it...but I did. I never told her though. I never told her how it’s all about being in the club, about not only having that special parent-child bond, but that parent-parent bond as well. How you want to be able to look at a child doing something amazing and then reach over and take the hand of the person who created that amazing thing with you.
There’s someone else I can’t tell this too. I think he senses it, but he’s getting it wrong. He’s misinterpreting the jealously as a competition for his love. That’s not the case. There is no competition, and the love isn’t created equal, nor should it be. He doesn’t understand the way my friend didn’t understand. He’s already in the club. I’m still standing outside the gates, watching it all happen from between the iron bars.