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Chapter 5

Chapter Five: Control

I decided that I had some control issues. Major ones.

I came to this conclusion as I stood over my pumpkin plant one morning and realized that I was, quite moronically, rubbing the reproductive organ of one pumpkin blossom against the reproductive organ of another pumpkin blossom, trying to transfer some pollen and get nature to do its dirty reproductive work, already. This probably would have worked quite well, except that both reproductive organs sort of happened to be male.


Cue terrible flashbacks of that scene in that movie…I believe it was Grease 2…when all of the students were dancing on the desktops and having a grand ole time as they sang “Reproduction.”  “Any other nectar gathering creature can create the same situation…anything that can get the pollen to the pistils…” Yes, it probably would have worked just fine, if any of the twenty delicate orange blossoms had been in possession of an actual pistil.

It was okay, though. I will grow pumpkins next year—a full, lush patch of them. If I have to buy a hundred packs of pumpkin seeds, I will make certain that I have both male and female seeds, and I will have pumpkins.

It was eye-opening. As I watched my pumpkins fail to grow, to literally wither and crumple fruitless on the vine, I was reminded of my own inability to conceive, even though everything appeared to be in working order. Even though we hadn’t been actively trying, I hadn’t been on birth control for close to three years, ever since I had the IUD that was causing some problems removed. While we hadn’t necessarily been careless, I wouldn’t say we had been careful, either. What were the odds that we wouldn’t have an accident in that time? And now, each month’s efforts were being met with frustrating failure.

I was tired of trying to control what was out of my grasp.

It was the hardest thing to do that I’ve had to do in the reach of my memory, but I went to my closet, pulled out the box of ovulation predictor tests, and chucked them. No more. If I’m ovulating and happen to have SEX…great. Perhaps the egg will be fertilized. Perhaps it will implant six days later. Perhaps I will figure out that it occurred a couple of weeks later. And perhaps I wouldn’t drive myself crazy wondering in the interim.

And perhaps pigs would sprout wings and soar with their friends the eagles.

Control and worry are, for a woman, like mascara, chocolate, and a good pair of shoes. Control is vital to her emotional well-being. It goes hand-in-hand with anxiety. If there’s something that’s out of her control, she’s going to be anxious and fret over it. No matter how many times she reads Matthew 6:25 or Jeremiah 29:11, she is going to want to control her circumstances, and she is going to worry when she cannot. It’s an innate part of a woman’s soul to do these things.

I think control and worry are the reason women are given good Christian girlfriends and mentors by the Lord. When she’s struggling, she doesn’t want to hear from her man that she needs to “suck it up.” But a woman who’s been there…that’s balm, baby. It’s Vaseline.

So with the thought of my girlfriends firmly fixed in mind, I tied the corners of that garbage bag and dragged it into the garage, dragging my control issues along with it. If S. could deal with her little girl’s leukemia, who was I to whine over not getting pregnant Right Away? Or ever, for that matter? If B. could deal with her baby having holes in her heart, who was I to complain? If T. could deal with infertility—just out and out infertility—no babies at all—who was I to argue that I needed another? I mean…who was I, anyway? Was I petitioning the universe, like what’s her face in Eat, Pray, Love, just because I had the audacity to be a member of it? “I, Lori, petition You, Universe, for another Child. I feel I deserve one, as a ranking member of the Universe, because I am a Good Mother, as opposed to some of these other Shiftless Beings…”

Whatever. It doesn’t work like that. It’s more along the lines of: my God created me, He gets to make the decisions. He has a plan for me. I don’t know what it is, but I trust that it’s pretty awesome.

End of chapter.

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