Ella posed an interesting question not too long ago. In the van, of course. It’s where we have all of our serious discussions.
“Mama, when we die…when you die…and you go to heaven…my big brother Will…is he still going to be a baby? Or is he a big kid now?”
I don’t know the answer to that. I really hope he is still a baby. I would hate to miss seeing him grow up but I just don’t know.
And if he is still a baby (oh, I hope he is) I want to go back to this day. Day of life 4.
You can almost smell the sweet baby newness from here. His scrunched up legs and mild jaundice make me want to put him into my arms and nurse him to sleep.
He looks like Amelia. Just like her when she was tiny. They were just about the same birth weight. And, sometimes, when Amelia is sleeping I can blink and it is my son.
I haven’t thought about Will very much the last few years. How could I, really, without being completely crushed?
He would be (is?) seven years old.
And even though I have two beautiful and smart and healthy daughters…I also had a son. Who I don’t feel like I ever got to know. Not like I know the girls.
As much as I would give anything to have back those first 12 days…what I really want back is my innocence. And my excitement. I’d even take back the frustrations and the exhaustion and the wondering. But, really, it’s my innocence.
The girls’ births, blissfully uneventful and happy, had a shadow. And their infancy was speckled with moments of panic and grief that they didn’t deserve. And I couldn’t control.
I feel out of control again. I’m twitchy thinking about a long and hot summer. Do I go and get a job? How to I keep Ella from falling behind once school is out? Fat camp is…well…tedious at best. And I know it’s going to hurt so it takes a tremendous effort just to go and I feel myself in sabotage mode.
If there was another grown up in the house tonight, I kind of want to go for a run in the dark. I think it would do me some good.
It’s like…and I’m not sure I can describe it…but it’s like I’m fully understanding what all I’ve lost. And I know I’m fortunate too. I know that. I have and do more than most people. But still…
My first baby.
My only son.
Baptized with my tears.
Again and again and again…