By: James M., CA
I Thought It'd Be a Good Idea to go to the Night Zoo
I thought it’d be a good idea to go to the night zoo
To play cool uncle with my nephew of two.
We’d run around all the glowing beasts
In a forever game of hide and seek.
But my gaze just kept falling on all the adults with their kids,
A life I want that fate forbids.
There are so many people here, all my age,
AIl busied up in a different life stage.
I am genuinely excited at the life they will live.
The joys, the exhaustion, and the rejection they will learn to forgive.
I once dabbled in parenting before,
No idea what I was doing, but it fueled me to my core.
At a very young age I had to step in for my mother,
Trying my best to raise my sister and brother.
I honestly didn’t do that good of a job,
But it gave my life purpose, made my heart throb!
I lined up my life to give raising a family another chance,
Raising my own kids with my own life stance.
But year after year with unknown reasons,
We sit in an empty house watching the change of seasons.
Now I’m in this phase that everyone dreads,
One of getting used to not being ahead.
No one prepares for this unwanted moment,
Just avoiding it and hoping it’s not their opponent.
This is not a place where you find joy,
But a crush where hope is destroyed.
Acceptance becomes the only silver line,
Monthly disappointment, I need not remind.
Everyone says we need to normalize this conversation,
But have you experienced that awkward incarnation?
There’s a reason why it’s taboo,
No one, not even the ones experiencing it, know what to say or do.
People might ask my wife “how are you doing?“
But usually not or get stuck with it just brewing.
And there’s hardly ever that question for me, the man,
My emotions are second and not in empathetic demand.
This place has to be more that just obligatory emotional validation,
More than just this living in this righteous desperation.
It can’t all just be about waiting in negativity,
There has to be something else here, some earned acclivity.
I believe a secret of life is learned in this place,
Some of the hardest challenges my partner and I will have to face.
This is where I know we will learn to truly be,
Somewhere hidden in this time of infertility.
At this point we may have more time and money than we have ever had,
And like a cliche, we are still just very sad.
But if we could find out how to be happy despite,
We’ll learn the secret to making any darkness bright.
We may feel like we are off the tracks with no child,
But we’re still on the tracks of our lives compiled.
Our career, our style, our strength, our mental fitness,
New hobbies, destinations, our experiences be our witness.
We’ll get the chance to also live off the tracks,
Explore life deeply to an undiscovered climax.
Raw moments that make our souls bare,
A freedom that at any other point we could not dare.
New friends will come into our lives,
Not defined by age or stage, but by the values they live by.
We’ll see the world in unique dimensions,
Unpacking the secrets of life only seen by our comprehension.
Our partnership will be put to the test.
Constant conversations of unfathomable stress!
Can we learn to finally master each other’s emotions?
To achieve sailing together across the biggest ocean?
There are so many lessons to learn,
So many opportunities to finally earn.
The privilege to actually know how we feel,
To repair the past, to finally heal.
I truly believe this is a moment to go deeper,
With no rules and no scorekeeper.
This is a game that will be our own,
And this is a chance to thrive despite feeling alone.
You may call this a rationalization.
A form of acceptance of my own creation.
But I refuse to make my journey second rate,
Life is larger than society’s view on my fertility’s fate.
A new horizon is coming.
I can feel the universe humming.
Of people just like us,
Who had to survive by being superfluous.
It is an honor to be part of such company
Who have experienced life to the nth degree.
We are not alone in being alone!
#WeCanAll forge a path that the world needs to be shown!
We are creating a version of the deepest hope,
Choosing to get up on a daunting tightrope.
Forging forward from the dark,
Conjuring true fire to make our lives spark.
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