This is going to be it, I swear. I don’t need hugs or pity or even well wishes at this point. This day isn’t the worst, it’s just the last in a string of significant dates.
6 years ago, at 11:42am, I gave birth to my firstborn. A son that we named Will.
I should be the mother of a 6 year old. He should be in kindergarten. He should be learning to read and ride a bike without training wheels. He should be wearing a Batman mask and cape. He should be picking on and watching out for his little sisters.
But, instead, he will forever be 11 months old. I’d like to think that he learned to walk in heaven. To talk, to read, to run.
I didn’t do anything to mark the day other than watch the clock this morning. I ticked off moments on the clock. The time I woke to contractions, the time I called Stephen home from work, the trip to the hospital, transition, pushing, birth. And…that was pretty much it. I didn’t do our birthday ritual. I didn’t want to do it alone.
I’m ready for this part of the calendar to be over. I feel like it just slams me at every turn. The scab that is peeled off. The lemon juice in the paper cut.
The girls and I are going to Stephen’s dad and step mom’s house for the weekend starting tomorrow. It was a last minute decision but they are leaving for TX next week and we won’t see them until February (if at all…if the markets really crash there will be no plane travel for us). So it’s now or never. And the girls are getting to the age where they want to see people that they haven’t seen in a while. Amelia is in love with her “Poppa”. She looks at his picture and “calls” him every time she picks up my phone. She talks about his house and his truck and his camper. I think that she knows that he’s a really important person in her life. I think she feels a connection to him.
Little kids are amazing like that in an animal kind of way. Robyn’s little dogs (mini-dachshunds) know when I need to be snuggled. They know when I’m sad or am having a bad day. Almost better than human people do. Both of my littles just seem to know who to love and who is important and who is on the fringes. They ask about the grandparents, about my sister and Stephen’s brother. Even my few, tight friends. Lots of people have come into our lives and the littles are very friendly and cozy with all of them. Or most of them anyway. But they just know. They know who needs some extra attention and who needs to be left alone.
Maybe I should get a dog. That’s crazy talk, I know. I know I’m missing something and maybe a pet (despite the fact that I make it well known that I am not a “Critter” person) would fill that void.
I need to do something. I feel, for lack of a better word, desperate. I am desperate for order, for comfort and security. I want to be looked after and double checked and second guessed. I’m desperate for a fight and, frankly, could stand to get laid. I need to do something.
Six years ago tonight, a new family was in a darkened hospital room. Daddy was asleep in the leather recliner with his brand new son asleep on his chest. I walked out of the bathroom, fresh from the tub…birth goo finally off me, to find my two loves together in dreamland. I shut off the television, turned up the heat and climbed into the crisp sheets of the world’s most uncomfortable bed. And slept like a rock for almost two hours when I heard for the first time in the dark: “Mommy, I think we have a hungry baby.”
I gladly took my tiny bundle and put his little mouth to my breast. I curled my toes as he latched on, fists up by his cheeks, working hard to fill his tiny tummy.
“You did it” he says. I know he’s talking about the nursing but I expanded the thought.
We did it. We made a pretty good baby.