We have a saying in our home that we use when one is sharing something they love that is near and dear to them, and then someone else proceeds to interject their opinion or feeling about it in a negative way. It’s called Don’t Yuck my Yum. It happens more often than you would think. It is every where – at school, at work, amongst close friends, co-workers, peers and I would guess, even our missionaries experience it. It starts at a young age. I’ve witnessed it in Primary when we spotlight a child and they mention something they love and a few children chime in and yuck their yum.
I have to admit that I am guilty of it. It’s not intentional. I don’t set out each day with the desire to be insensitive to others, it just happens. Not only have I yucked someone’s yum, I’ve yummed someone’s yuck. During my early and mid thirties, I was on the receiving end of much yuck yumming. We have two wonderful sons. They are thoughtful, kind, charismatic, hardworking and absolutely amazing. I am beyond thankful that Heavenly Father entrusted them to me.
With that being said, we wanted more children. We struggled with secondary infertility after the birth of our youngest son. We went through the standard infertility procedures, all of which were unsuccessful. When I would share with others about how I longed for more children, thinking they were making me feel better, they would say things along the lines of, “look at your two sons”, “at least you have two children”, “it could be worse”, “be thankful for the two you do have.”
They didn’t intend to be insensitive to my feelings. They meant well. Everyone does. I know that because I too, said those SAME EXACT WORDS years prior. Yes, I should have gratitude for our two beautiful sons. I do. Yet, that didn’t take away the pain I experienced when I thought about not having more children.
Now with our son on a mission, I find myself embarking down a once familiar path that I hoped to never cross again. Yesterday was one of those days. I was reflecting back to the day that my husband and I drove him to the airport; when I kissed his cheeks, hugged his neck and sent him on his way, halfway around the world, he was just a boy. When he returns 18 months from now, the boy I once knew will be but a distant, sweet memory.
I will miss that metamorphosis from boy to man. I feel like I’m being robbed of what I am rightfully afforded, all the while my friends are texting, FaceTiming, calling, visiting their college aged children and witnessing firsthand this transition. I mentioned to my friend the harsh reality of what I was missing out on and her response, which I’m certain was her best attempt to ease my heartache, was not what I was wanted to hear.
It’s during those moments that I wish people would think before they speak. I’m not needing you to make me feel better. I’m confiding my struggles because, to tell you the truth, this Missionary Mama thing is for the birds. It is awful at times; like kick-you-in-the-gut awful. I miss him more than I ever thought possible. When I share my struggles with you, what I am looking for is for you to just listen. Listen and tell me if you have been through this yourself, that you get it, and that you understand and validate that it straight up sucks. And if you’ve never been through this, then just listen and please be mindful of what you say next.
May we be more mindful. Mindful to not yuck someone’s yum or even worse, yum someone’s yuck.