Suddenly, the house was very quiet. Lawrence was 15 now, and busy after school with all his friends and school activities. Connie's work no longer seemed enough to fulfill her. She found herself longing for another child, one fathered by the true love she had found so late. But month after month, her body disappointed her.
It was the bitterest of ironies when Elly announced, with much lamenting, that she was unexpectedly pregnant again.
Connie desperately wanted to have 'proof' of her love for Greg only to face the heartache of infertility and thus had little patience for Elly's wailing about having the child she wanted. This baffled Elly because it didn't make sense that someone might actually envy her or see her as having something they might want.
It's like how she never really understood or heard of another drama: Phil and Georgia's four year battle with the infertility that Connie sees as a betrayal by her body. We were far too busy watching Mike blunder his way into alienating Martha to see something really important: Phil and Georgia's falied attempt at getting in the family way and how they handled it. As HIS Liography indicates:
The second problem had no solution, and it took Phil and Georgia some time to accept it. After four years of marriage and some acutely embarrassing medical moments, they knew they would have no children of their own. There were times when this depressed them. Other times, Phil thought it might be just as well. He wasn't at all certain he had what it took to be a good father.
They talked of adopting, but decided against it. While both would have loved children of their own, there was also pleasure in coming home after a hectic day to a peaceful house. There were advantages, too, in being able to focus totally on their careers. They both worked with children every day; their interest in young people could be channelled into more dedicated efforts to help those kids lead better, richer lives.
When that wasn't quite enough to ease the hurt, they decided to "adopt" two children and their families through an international aid organization. Each month they contributed the amount they had planned to put into an education fund for their own children. It was humbling to find that such a meagre amount was enough to not only support the two families, but to provide a well for safe drinking water for their whole village. There was comfort in knowing that out of their disappointment had come some real good.
Phil might have tried to rationalize away a lot of heartache by telling himself that he was too much of a kid himself to be a dad and that he's doing more good for more kids this way, he and Georgia are pretty much on the same page with Connie in secretly envying Elly's having her "superfluous" child. Not, of course, that Elly is really aware of this or could sympathize if she were. As I said the last time I talked about this, the problem is that Elly is too focused on her own problems and too lacking in real curiosity to see what's going on around her. Were we able to see into the lives of the 2016 Pattersons, I should think that as she sits at the kitchen table with Connie and doesn't realize how much complaining about how April's not calling as often as she'd like still hurts, it's equally likely that she makes pious noise about how Phil never even tried to give her a niece or nephew because she's the same sort of idiot Mike is and thinks that they're morally inferior because they're infertile.