Friday, October 26, 2012

Friends with babies

I spent a large majority of the day with Afina, her two precious boys and for some part of the day, Afina's husband whom I dearly love.  He's a unique and great guy.  What a wonderful family.  But Afina is stressed. Her youngest is two months old and she goes back to her demanding job in four weeks.  She's feels she's falling short; not living up to her great expectations.  Her mother is not supportive, she's almost attacking.  Says Afina looks like a slob, not keeping herself up.  But Afina is beautiful and everybody thinks so.  Afina is unhappy with her house and neighborhood.  There are no sidewalks and backyard.

We had a fun day playing with her oldest who is impressively verbal given he's not get two years old.  We caught up on the last few months of activity in our lives.  We've known each other since college so it's fun to see how far we've come and how we're both struggling in our own way.

A few nights ago I went over to my neighbor's house.  She has two girls just about same age as Afina's kids but my neighbor's youngest is very young; just three weeks old.  The girl is small and my neighbor says she's not keeping much milk down.  She's throws up a lot and the doctor says it's acid reflux.  I don't know about these things in babies.  I felt really bad for her.  I don't see many visitors at her home.  Her mom has only been over twice in three weeks.  She doesn't have any friends her age that
come around.  They are young, in their early twenties.

And my neighbor couple has some serious problems, unfortunately they caused themselves.  I'll call them Stacy and Alan.  Stacy wants to move very badly.  So badly that they stopped paying their mortgage in July. It's not that they can't afford the payments, she just wants to leave.  And why?  The barking dogs and what she says are harassing neighbors.  I don't hear the dogs and have not experienced any neighbor problems expect for some being unfriendly.  But that's not a crime.  I suspect Stacy has some problems with anxiety and maybe panic attacks.  And she convinced her husband it was a good idea to force themselves into foreclosure.

They thought they would qualify for a government program that pays homeowners to stay in their homes, help them avoid foreclosure through a short sale, and avoid vandalism because they are still in the house.  Predictably for me but not for them they couldn't qualify for the large payment because their income is too high.  Again, they can afford their mortgage payment.  So now BofA (the great bank they are so much so that the government recently sued them) has sold Stacy and Alan's loan to "a no name bank."  Another couple had put in an offer on their house but now it will have to be resubmitted to the new bank.  I asked if they could just start paying their mortgage again and she said it would mean they'd be so behind it wouldn't make sense.  I didn't get that.  And the new bank would make them refinance and now that their credit is screwed up, the interest rate would be sky high.  This is not good.  Stacy looked very stressed.  And she said her husband thinks she lays around all day while he's at work!  Men.

When I left Afina's today and got home I felt strange.  I guess mixed emotions is the best description.  I felt sorry for myself that I don't have children.  But also happy that I don't have the stress that she and Stacy have.  I don't feel sad.  But that's life isn't it.  The good mixed with the bad.  I have my own particular good and bad, not theirs.  I have my own brand of stress.  But I feel very grateful I'm an aunt.  That I can love those children, not everyday but that I have a special place.  I promised Afina's oldest I'd take him to his first sushi bar when he's old enough.  And that's good enough for me right now.


  1. Yeah...we all have our own crosses to bear...just because someone has a child does not mean they don't have crosses. I know of plenty of people with children who have a pluthera of problems...and the kids don't make those problems easier. They love their children...don't get me wrong...they just add to the of my brothers is a prime example of this. Each of our lives is our own and how we choose to live really up to us. Prayer is so helpful on our life journeys.

  2. I think that's what helps me be OK - seeing that life, in this life, is difficult all around, and everyone is carrying a cross and we all have to do the best we can. Seeing the world in broad strokes - the haves and have-nots in any one category, whether it's children or anything else - is what makes for unhappiness, I think. Sometimes those with kids seem like a united front, determined to make me unhappy. Sometimes I see that they're all just people, trying to get by. And sometimes, of course, mothers DO present a united front to make the rest of us unhappy! But there will always be nasty people; they're probably the unhappiest of all.

    Also, your neighbor sounds like she might need professional help - and I don't mean financial.