I think among the three brothers, my husband is the only one that spends the most time gaming (I think his dream profession would be to be in a team of creative people who create games). He babysat the two boys every now and then when they were young (before they moved away) and now they have this connection together and last night I was just thinking of the other side. That if we had a boy, they may be able to connect this way (though there's always the possibility that the boy wouldn't like games, but let me just daydream a bit). It brought a smile to my face. :-) I'm glad that he can have this bond with the boys, because they're the only heirs that we'll ever going to have.
The other week I realized that I was finally released from the expectations I had towards a group of close friends. I knew already since the beginning of the year that I had to let go, but the process took long (I was kicking and screaming all the way). The bottom line was that I had to downgrade them in order to keep my sanity and our friendship intact.
FB gave me pretty good slaps on the face because even without trying to find any proof, it was clear as daylight how people tended to react more to baby/kiddo photos than any of my statuses/photos. In the real world when I share something directly with someone else, that person is bound to respond right away, but in a virtual world like FB, those things that aren't your priorities get swept away among all the overwhelming number of links and photos and statuses. Thus it creates an illusion that a life without kids is "less than" because the minute a baby photo is up (along with many other cute kiddo moments like the M-Day or F-Day's creations made by the kids), many would rush over to comment and/or share their own stories/moments. I get it. It's nothing personal. It's the bond that connects them, but during the time when I had too much expectation from a certain group of people, it still hurt. It stung.
I confronted my friends at one point because I felt that they weren't responding to any parts of my email (and they also didn't respond too much in my FB compared to the baby/kiddies' photos). Mind you, at that time they were busy talking about a pregnancy/birth story/parenting in their emails and I felt left out (almost no response to my emails during that period of time - my acute brain couldn't help detecting these details). Again I knew it was nothing personal, but it still hurt. From the confrontation, they said that they had given me everything they could, though they did admit that the pregnancy/birth story did get too much airing time at some point because of the freshness of it all, but the only possible option was for me to downgrade them.
I felt some resentment and anger for months. I thought it was sick that I had to be the one downgrading them, even though I still wanted to give them more time and energy, but if in the end it only made me feel resentful and it may make them feel guilty for not being able to give me more time, then what's the use?
Mind you, some of them did tell me that they sometimes felt guilty for not being able to give me more time because of life's busyness and their priorities and that really shocked my system, because I never intended to make anyone feel that way. I just wanted to give as much time and effort as I wanted because they were that important to me (and because I'm the only one who has the most free time - at some point I also cursed myself for having the most free time because then I got tempted to want to give more time and attention to them, which in retrospect only resulted in making my expectation go high). To put it simply, I had put my eggs in the wrong basket.
So I took a break from FB and focused more on my group of women who are childless-not-by-choice like myself and on my writing/photo challenges. I haven't written them an email in a long time, though we still communicate in bits and pieces via FB. All these things helped. Months passed by...the resentment gradually grew less and less and finally one day when I logged into FB again and saw some activities among them, I didn't feel any resentment anymore. That was the moment I realized I had succeeded in downgrading them.
I had never thought that I would have to do something like this, because they had always been my go-to group, core group of friends. We'd known each other for at least half of our age (I've known half of them even slightly longer than that), but there's no stopping it now. I've done it. This is for our own good. All of us. No more hard feelings. I feel relieved. Much lighter. :-)