More about babies (PG-13)

I’m cycling, as in bipolar cycling.  I spent, I shopped, I cried and I refused to do anything difficult.  I tried to sleep like crazy.  I took an Ativan but all that did was make me exceedingly mellow for about twenty hours.  I did sleep a reasonable amount, but who cares?  The point is, I wore that checkbook out.  I returned some of the things, but I felt entitled to the ones I kept.  The next day, nay, the next afternoon I felt really guilty.  It was a sign that I am headed back to some sort of normalcy.  Normal is one of my least favorite words, but I need it for my family.

I was crying today because Small asked me to read to her.  We read a Lola and Soren Lorenson book.  I love Lola and her brother and her invisible friend, Soren.  Then the other book  she chose is book about a pregnant woman and her baby.  They were going to go “catch the sun.”  I couldn’t hang with it.  Seeing them together was too much – the last few days of it just being the two of them.  I thought I was over this, but it is a sadness and joy I will carry with me my whole life.  I will never be callous towards myself or anyone else who lost a child.  They are earned scars.  What is it Rumi says about the bruised  hand?  There are people who are compassionate but have never had trouble with fertility, or miscarriage, or still birth, or….  An empathetic hand is what is gentle, helpful and hopeful.

I know just what brought this up.  The other day, while I was in the bath, Small tried to explain to me why it would be great for her to have the big sister we lost.  “She’s be eight years old, not too old to play with me,” she said.  I agreed with her, although that possibility would not be great – we found out I was pregnant with Small on our first child’s due date.  Then I realized that Small didn’t understand what happened.  I don’t remember why I told her about the miscarriage, and I’m not sure it was a wise thing to do.  If we had another I would wait until she was older, for sure.  Something in me clicked and I think I could understand where she was coming from:  “Small, we can’t just go pick her up.”

She was surprised.  She must have thought, “Why not?”

It seemed like she thought she was waiting for us welcome her back into our family.  I tried to explain to her we could never do that, but I am still not sure she really gets it.  I remember reading about twins, aged seven, whose father died of a heart attack.  Their mom had heard them in the hall in the middle of the night.  They had packed and were ready to go find dad.  So, seven is probably too young, too.  But what do I know?  I’m a first time mom.

I’m also a last time mom.

I don’t need another child.  Not to be happy and not to be fulfilled.  I am open to more children, but will not seek to adopt or surrogate.  I figure the only way we will have more children is if someone leaves their children to us after death or some sort of incapacity.  We are godparents to my 16 year old cousin, though if something happened to her mom I’m probably sure she would emancipate, she’s just that together.  (Her dad is a meth-user, among other stupid things).  So anyway, that’s out.  I thought once that I have things to do that I could probably not accomplish with a large family.  I love my daughter and try not to let the sorrow get in the way.  It must.  I have a feeling my longing some how lodged itself in her and that is why she keeps asking.  My therapist’s stance about my sadness about the birthday parties (now up to 3) is that I am projecting my loneliness and feelings of exclusion on her.  It doesn’t seem to really effect her.  Does she even know about them?   Would she care or is she secure enough to not let it bother her?   I have a sneaking suspicion she really doesn’t care.  It’s a shock to me.   How can she not feel the sting of rejection and exclusion?

She has a new best friend every week.  Normal.  (There’s that word.)  I had one friend a year, if that.  Kindergarten – Jennifer.  First grade – Kristie (but I had not her best friend.  Davina was.   Second grade- Megan and Regina (that’s two!)  Third grade, also Megan and Regina.  Fourth grade- Persephone, Fifth grade – Pam.  Sixth grade and Middle school changed things a little.  There was a little clan of us, Erica, Cindy, Valeri(e), nd me.   (Cindy was my roommate at sixth grade camp.  Valeri(e) and I locked her in to the closet. Cindy was still my friend after that.  That same week I met Monique (  I have always gotten better things than I deserve.

Small is not ready for a clan, and I am not ready to get a call from the school telling me about the horrible things she did.  (I believe she is a kinder, less frustrated person than I was  Also I was never caught.  Not for locking a girl in the closet, not for the very mean slam book I carried around, not for nothing.)

I have to get ready for church.


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