The world can be a scary place filled with heartbreaking stories. Growing up and dealing with everyday realities such as infertility, which the CDC reports impacts 12% of people in the United States, can be daunting and overwhelming. The stories from people who have sought expensive and invasive infertility treatments illuminate a side of family planning that you don't see in the pastel-colored card section at stationery stores.
So, when we have the chance to highlight a story about infertility that leaves us feeling hopeful, like this one about a seven-year-old boy who had the sweetest response to learning about the condition that affects millions of people, we jump at the chance to cover.
According to Hello Giggles, Shelby Eckard was sitting at her desk and crying over a photo of her friend's ultrasound when her son, Parker, asked her what was so sad about the picture before her.
"I explained it was a baby, trying hard not to go any further because I'm not ready for a 'where babies come from discussion,'" she wrote in an Instagram post. "He said, 'but momma- I don't understand. Why are you crying? Babies are awesome.' This, spawned a whole flood of tears I held back behind burning eyes. How do you explain to a 7 year old the emotions and challenges of infertility."
Instead of backing away from the uncomfortable conversation, Eckard, who says she's a PCOS advocate, explained in the best way she knew how that having a baby can be difficult for many people.
"I mustered up my strong mom voice and told him, 'yes, babies ARE awesome. They make hearts happy and homes feel full and are the greatest present a person can ever get,'" she wrote. "'And for some reason, for some, those 'baby days' don't come when they're supposed to. Or ever. And it's like waiting on a present and not knowing if you'll ever get it. And it can make you sad. If you were looking forward to your birthday, and it didn't come, you'd be sad, right?'"
Eckard then told her son that she knows what it's like to wait on something that might never come, namely, his little sister. Though she told him that waiting to have another child turned out to be a blessing, she mentioned that not everyone gets so lucky.
Hours after their initial conversation, Eckard said that she found her son coloring in her bedroom. When she asked what he was doing, he said: "I want those ladies to be happy, too. I want them to get their presents."
"I can't give them a baby. And I thought maybe they can borrow my sister for a little, but I can't drive and I'd miss her," he continued. "So I am drawing them pictures as presents. Maybe you can send them to them for me? When they're sad? I don't want them to give up. I want them to be happy."
Be still, our hearts.