01 September 2010

Today I get my new Red Box. Also - parenthood.

  Today I'm going down to Rogue's Gallery to purchase my D&D Red Box.  It's been on the shelf for days, but I waited until 1 September, because I had promised Mary and myself that August would be a no-gaming-spending month.  We got our Health Department inspection done for our foster care license, and we're in the home stretch, so this was my contribution to our attempt to get our budget under control.  Next stop: Fire Department inspection.

  So, those of you who know me know that my wife and I are working to become Foster Parents.  To those of you who don't - here's a bit of background.  My wife found out in the early 2000s that the intense pain she suffered every month wasn't her imagination, as her mother and grandmother and aunts were told, or just part of being a woman, as those same women told her.  She found out she had a condition called endometriosis.  This condition is, basically, when the tissue buildup normal to the reproductive cycle builds up outside the uterus- on more or less everything.  It's painful, it's hard to detect unless you're looking for it, and it can cause severe issues with childbearing.  In our case, it caused a miscarriage, and then the need for a total hysterectomy.

  In the years since, we have looked into various foster and adoptive programs, as Mary is simply wired to be a mom.  I've never seen anyone so immediately warmed to by children, even ones tagged as 'difficult'.  Mary just needs to be a mom, and I think she'll make a wonderful one.  As for me, I've always felt that fatherhood was simply a part of growing up and starting a family.  Well, I was married, I had a house (another story), and now it was time to start trying to have kids.  The miscarriage was a severe blow, and I will readily admit that I will never know the depth of hurt it caused Mary.  To me, it was sad, and unfortunate.  The real tragedy of it didn't hit me until much later.  But as I have learned since going through the emotional wringer of endometriosis and then hysterectomy with Mary, there are things that seem rather cut-and-dried to the male mind that are profoundly life-altering to a woman.  I think men don't appreciate the sense of loss that comes with a hysterectomy.  To be frank, I think it's because a woman post-hysterectomy is still physically capable of sex.  That is, men don't automatically equate it with the sense of loss it comes with.  In fact, some men thing "Great!  I can't get her pregnant!" without realizing that the severe emotional trauma caused by the procedure is just as great or greater that if we had our manly bits cut off, because, hey, she's still got the gear to get it on, right? 

  See, I know this is how guys think - because before it happened to my wife, it happened a long time ago to my aunt, and I thought it was no big deal.  Simple operation, she was home a couple of days later, and oh- she couldn't have any more children, but she already had three, so that was ok.  Menfolk - it's NOT ok.  Having lived through this with Mary has given me a new appreciation for what women go through, how they're wired, and yes, what it's like to live with a woman in menopause.  Cuz guess what, chummers - I get to do this twice.  Now, I know it's a hundred times worse for poor Mary, who actually gets to undergo the hot flashes and the mood swings and the hormonal changes of menopause once for the shock of the hysterectomy, and again when she reaches the chronological age of menopause.  But folks, it ain't easy for the husband, either...  I suddenly sympathize with all my upper-middle-age relatives and friends.  Ugh.

  So I've been pining and complaining about my own decision to wait - in this case, only a few days - to pick up a new RPG product that is admittedly about 30% content and 70% nostalgia.  It pains me, makes me crazy.  I am just as eager, if not moreso, than the average geek to get their hands on this latest offering from WoTC.  And I don't even really *like* Fourth Edition.  I wants it, My Precious.  It tasks me, and I shall have it.  And then I remember what I made this "no gaming spending for a month" promise for.  And I remember WHY we're on this path.  And I remember that Mary's pain when we lost our baby- so much more than mine will ever be, even though I've shed tears quietly to myself when our friends children go back to school and I muse that our daughter (I think of the baby as such) would have been starting fourth grade this year.  It effects me, but it effects Mary so much more than I'll ever be able to fully appreciate.

  So, later today, I'm going to Rogue's Gallery, and I'm picking up Dungeons and Dragons Essentails Red Box.  And I'll enjoy it.  But after thinking about it... VERY hard...  There are more important things in life than gaming, contrary to popular belief.  There, I said it.

  Now folks, if you made it through this post, thank you.  I promise my future posts will not be so... emotional.  Just a thought that occurred to me as we move closer to our endgame and get our actual foster care license.  I had intended this blog to be my feelings about gaming and hobbies, but today I'm feeling Real Life(TM) and I wanted you all to bear with me.  I'm hoping my next post will be more about gaming or geekery.  Thanks for reading.

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