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I originally heard out about this book over at Beloved Burnt Toast. Someone gifted it to her daughter for her first birthday, but really I think it’s a gift for the parent and more so for the child when they are old enough to understand how truly wanted they were before they arrived.
The story is about two elephants who create a life together, but in the back of their minds there is always that thought of growing their family. One day they decide they are ready, but time passes and their baby still hasn’t come to them. All throughout, they wish the baby was there with them. There is a point in the book where the elephants look quite sad, and it shows them “living life” but says that they make no plans. Then one day there is a rumble, and a storm, but in the end the baby comes to them.
I went to Chapters (the Canadian version of Barnes and Noble) to check it out, so I took the book and sat in a quiet corner of the store and read. By the end I had tears welling up in my eyes*. It is a very simple book, not very wordy but packs a powerful emotional punch. Later that day, J and I were out and about so I told him about the book and we stopped in the store so I could show it to him. We went to the kids section of the store to retrieve the book, and he pulled two chairs next to each other so we could sit together and read it. I was going to just let him read it, but when he opened the book I leaned in and we read silently, together.
When we finished the book, J looked up at me as the tears, again, welled up in my eyes and all he could say is “wow”. A few fat tears slid down my cheeks, as J and I both sniffled and tried to gain composure (as we’re still sitting in the middle of the children’s section of a large bookstore). He gave me a squeeze and a kiss and told me it was a really good book.
The book always shows the baby elephant in a boat in the sea on it’s way to it’s parents but never insinuates how it gets to them (their own pregnancy, surrogate, adoption, ect.) or what it took along the way, it just conveys the grief the parents experienced while waiting. And I know not everyone gets their wish to come true. But the elephant couple does, and so far it’s looking like we will too. This book put into simple words and pictures, the great complexity, the anguish it took to get here and the joy of our wish coming true.
We will be using it as the guest book at our BBQ shower as a way to share with the rest of our friends and family the journey we’ve been on.
*Sidenote: I am not a very emotional person, and even through pregnancy have not been overly emotional (besides bitchy) but this, got me straight to the guts.