Driving the lane, parallel parking and making babies
I don't do very well with failure. I'm one of those annoying overachievers who works hard until I conquer my goal. There are very few times in my life I can remember true and utter failure. Most recently, getting pregnant has moved to the top of the list.
My first memorable experience with big time failure came in 6th grade. I learned all about basketball from my dad as I was growing up. I guess that happens when you're a one of his two daughters and he's a guys guy. He shot foul shots with me in the driveway and he tried his best to give me pointer. I was proficient in the rules of the game. I even understood the fundamentals of plays. So, my parents and I decided it would be good for me to join the girls basketball team.
My middle school sponsored one of those everyone makes the team basketball teams. As such, I started practice with the other girls. After only a couple of practices, it became apparent I was utterly and horribly terrible at basketball. After I bounced a ball off if the ceiling of the gym and caused a shower of 100 year old plaster on the heads of m coaches and teammates, I decided to give up basketball and stick with my dance classes. It didn't hurt that my coach encouraged my decision, and my parents, who didn't raise quitters, allowed me to bow out and retain a shred of dignity.
At 16, I once again experienced another exercise in humility. Driving. I was trained at the Benny Evans school of driving, where you can either get a driver's license or become a drag racer after completion. I was scared to death to learn to drive, but dad talked me into it and taught me the ropes. Then, I took driver's education, where I was terrified all over again. The teacher convinced me at some point in my life I was going to kill someone behind the wheel. This wasn't a lecture reserved for me. He told that to pretty much everyone. So, I got in the car and drove with him every Tuesday morning for a semester -- completely and utterly terrified of the weapon I was forced to wield.
At the end of that semester, I signed up to take my driver's license driving test. In January. In West Virginia. Can you guess how this goes? Suffice it to say that within an hour of taking my test, we were on buses headed home because of near blizzard conditions. No license that day.
Try number two happened in my mom's full size Blazer in a monsoon. I swear, it was really a monsoon. I spent weeks practicing parallel parking that behemoth. This time, a State Trooper did my test. The man was really a saint. I think he gave me 10 shots before he failed me. I left there so dejected, with the firm belief that I would never possess a driver's license.
The third and (AND FINAL) time I took my road test was in my great Aunt Pee's Chrysler New Yorker. It was a beautiful spring day. Birds were chirping as the administrator for my test got into the passenger seat. While I was double checking my mirrors, there was a rapping on the passenger side window. The instructor rolled it down, only to hear my great aunt ask him if he had put his seat belt on yet. After rolling up the window and buckling up, he turned and asked me if I had driven her to town. I quietly said I had, to which he answered he was certain I would pass if I could drive to her satisfaction. One driver's license. Check.
So, now I sit here, staring down another one of life's biggest challenges. Getting pregnant has been a difficult road to travel for as long as I have been on this path. It's also a path that changes, seemingly as you try to take the next step. In truth, I'm not doing so well with failure. I've never learned to accept it, just to work harder. But, infertility seems so different. Sheer will and determination hasn't gotten me anywhere so far. Who's to say that will ever change. The real question is whether this is a basketball scenario or a driving scenario. Is it a matter of time, of waiting for the perfect moment when all the stars will align? Or, is it a matter of cutting my losses before I'm in too deep, bailing out of a sinking ship?
The fact is I will never know until I get to the end. Either I'll get pregnant and see the parallels with driving, or I'll have to walk away with no child. But, I have the benefit of a couple of decades since these incidents to tell me life is rarely black and white. So, on I will go, hoping, praying and waiting. I still love basketball and I can still parallel park (even in my SUV). Maybe one day I'll have someone to teach both of those things to.