August 25, 2009

This past weekend we travelled to Montana, picked up our beloved felines (who were none too happy to be picked up and let us know about it, thank you very much), and took them home.  Expecting to come home to our slightly unfinished house, we were happily surprised to find that our landlord had finished the downstairs basement, replaces our most tattered screens, and hung a couple of curtains.

It feels a little more like home every day.

We discuss how to arrange the furniture, and I organize the kitchen.  There’s storage in the basement, or will be once we move the furniture out of it and unpack the boxes down there that need unpacking.  I am guessing that by the end of this week we’ll be able to use the bedroom closet.  Tomorrow, for the first time, I’ll hook the hose up to the sprinkler and water the front lawn, and I’m itching to start hanging things up on the walls.

The box of Teddy’s things is still taped up.  I’m torn between wanting to unpack it and take his blanket out, bury my nose in it, and inhale the faint baby smell, and keeping it taped up safe and tight until there’s less chaos and shuffling going on.

The bedroom across from ours has blue trim around the doors and windows.  We’re tentatively planning on using it for the new baby, but I keep calling it Teddy’s room in my head, even though he’ll never get to use it.  It feels like it really is his room, as though there’s a small Cubs hat hanging from the doorknob and little boy giggles fill the space and pour out into the hall in that precious and enviable parallel universe where he is whole, and happy, and working his way toward toddlerhood.

I wonder if maybe there’s a small portal to that universe in this new house – not big enough to walk through, but just big enough that we can catch flashes of color and hear the echoes through it.  Do I want to hear those echoes?  Can I hold onto them or let them go at will?  I think so, I don’t know.

The results of the first trimester screening test finally came back and were as comforting as that sort of thing can be.  But Teddy’s results from this particular test were very good, too, which I can’t help but remember.  It keeps me from relaxing into thoughts of “Maybe this time everything will be all right,” but the possibility of everything being all right seems a bit more solid with every passing week, which is hopeful and sweet if not relaxing.

I want conflicting things.  I want Teddy here, safe and happy and giggling.  I want to know what his voice sounds like, to have him settled in that blue and white room with his little boy things; I want to get up in the middle of the night to bring him sips of water or sing him back to sleep.  And I want this new baby, too.  This new baby who wouldn’t exist if Teddy were still with us.

It’s a strange place to be.  I want, very much, to hear real giggles come pealing out of that room across the hall some day, but I know they won’t cover up the sounds of the laughter that should have been.



  1. I hear you Erica, loud and clear. We’re straddled between these two universes now. Wanting our firstborns back but also wanting these new babies, knowing they would never have been if not for the loss of the sibling that came before them. Exhausting.

  2. When you hear real giggles, it will be sweet, despite the giggles that are not. I want so much for you to hear them. I’m glad Teddy already seems to have a place in your new home, aside from the place he will always have within you.

    • PS
      I picked you for Honest Scrap.

  3. Oh, but that never changes. No matter how many babies you have. You always long for those who are missing, those who should also be there. We bought a little wardrobe for Kees before he was born, somewhere to store all his clothes. It has a “K” on it (a gift) and now of course this wardrobe will always be “Kees’ wardrobe”. Always. I suspect some things will not change.

  4. ((Hugs))

  5. It IS such a strange place to be. I think over time, the strange place doesn’t feel so strange anymore.

  6. This was a beautiful post, Erica. I wish things were simpler. I wish with all my heart that Teddy was giggling in that blue room.

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