This is what strangers would say to me when they saw my expanding belly, barely hidden by the stroller that held my infant. “You’re braver than I am,” and they would smile with fake politeness and shake their heads bemusedly at me. I always thought this was an odd thing to say.
- It suggested that having two babies in 11 months was part of my master plan. Whether it was my master plan or not is really nobody’s business. Especially you, checkout woman at Target.
- Why is this “brave”? Strangers think it’s brave because they’re assuming I’m in for stressful, exhausting, crazy-ass time. And maybe I am. But these people should say what they really mean: Better You Than Me, Lady.
I also had a great aunt who said aloud what some folks were probably thinking (pointed to my belly and asked, loudly, “Is that a mistake?”). And one stranger who simply smiled and told me how blessed I was.
I don’t remember the faces of the countless people who told me I was “brave,” but I do remember the face of the woman who told me I was lucky. I wanted to kiss her full on the mouth for being the only random stranger who saw the blessing instead of the burden.
Wherever she is, I hope she’s received the good karma that she earned that day.