Posts Tagged ‘missing’



December 3, 2013

We took Dot to see her first in-theater movie over the weekend. Overall, it was a good experience, even though N insisted we sit in the middle of our row, which made things really exciting when Dot “whispered” in her most urgent tone, ” I have to go potty!” and even though much popcorn was spilled, and even though every time I tried to tell her to be quiet (she had a lot to say) she would glare and me and say “SHHHH, Mommy!” AND even though we had to carry her out, kicking and screaming, after the movie was over because she didn’t want to stop running around and playing in the theater.

I like the concept of Disney’s Frozen and it did something wonderful in that the love interest wasn’t the main point of the younger princess’s story, but someone who helped her with her quest. This was something Tangled did, too, and I was glad to see it again, and especially glad to see the way the movie played with the “true love’s kiss” trope (no spoilers, but it was pretty cool). Dot loved the princesses and the songs, I loved the trolls, N loved watching Dot stare, rapt, at the screen and feeding her popcorn (when she was sitting still, which was a lot of the time, but not the whole time).

But I’d forgotten how Disney loves to dispatch parents at the beginning of their movies. Yeesh. It wasn’t nearly as brutal as Nemo, but I wasn’t ready for that part of the movie. (Tarzan is the absolute worst for this, in that the human child’s parents and the baby gorilla are both done away with at the beginning. I haven’t watched that one since college, and may never watch it again just because my heart breaks for the mama gorilla and then I get really mad about being so easily emotionally manipulated by a movie.) It’s a pity Dot didn’t have to use the potty at that particular moment, but she hasn’t asked us questions about it at all so far. She’s just starting to ask us questions about what dead means, but it’s clear to me she doesn’t get that it’s permanent. That’s the hardest thing for me, too, so I’m not surprised.

I’ve been thinking about Teddy a lot lately and I’m sure part of it is the holidays, and part of it is that my brother and his wife are expecting, and part of it is probably just me. And, oh, I miss him. I miss his baby self and I miss knowing who he’d be this year at almost five years old. The missing isn’t the hard part, really. At this point in my life, it’s just part of who I am and what I do. The hard part is feeling like I can’t tell anyone about it. N would be worried, and so would Mom. Friends and coworkers would listen and then wonder when I was going to move on. But this is what it looks like, me moving on. I play with Dot and cook Thanksgiving dinner, and am grateful that my daughter is just about toilet trained; I buy Christmas presents online during Cyber Monday and plan out what kinds of cookies I’m baking this year and try not to forget stocking-stuffers and worry that I won’t be able to find a good gift for N, and I miss my son. I miss him when I’m busy and when I’m not, and this morning when I woke up to the first real snow of the season, it was beautiful and magical and I wanted to cry because he wasn’t here to see it. And that doesn’t make me a tragic figure or someone who can’t laugh at a joke or get stuff done, but it’s always there. I want it to be there, I loved him and love him still and love has to manifest somehow, after all. But I do mind not being able to be open about it without people worrying about me.





New guilt

March 17, 2010

Somewhere in either my second copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting or What to Expect in the First Year (and considering how I feel about WTEWYE, the fact that I own two copies is an odd and contrary thing, but the first one we purchased in the early weeks of my pregnancy with Teddy and I can’t bear to throw it away, and the second, newer edition was given to me by my doctor’s office at my first prenatal appointment with Dot, and it felt like bad juju to decline it or throw it out) there’s a paragraph or two about second children.  Parents might feel guilty about the attention taken away from the first child, the book says.  This is normal, the book says.

I remember thinking, before Dot was born, that this would probably be true for me even though Teddy died, and – normal or not – it is.

I have moments where I feel like I’m letting go of Teddy’s hand, when I’m so wrapped up in Dot and breastfeeding and trying to reenter the workplace in a way that causes the least trauma to 1) Dot, 2) N, and 3) me, that I don’t have enough time for him, enough time to remember, enough time to chant my not-a-rosary prayer of “I want you back, I want you back, I want you back.”  As though I’ve let go of his hand in a giant grocery store or the park and he is wandering away alone.  I don’t want him to be lost.

I tell myself he isn’t lost.  Wherever he is, he is not only beyond my touch but beyond pain and loneliness and doubt.  Unlike his sister, who shrieks with outrage and panic when she wakes up all alone.  The LIONS could have eaten me, Mommy!  Why did you put me down?  Why did you leave the room?  How could you do it? I scoop her up and bounce her up and down and think, It’s not easy, Little One, not easy to be so far from you as even the next room, but sometimes a woman needs a shower.

Sometimes a woman needs a shower, a back massage, a hot meal, a nap, and a large tumbler of single malt, but has to make do with a shower.  A five-minute shower, because hair conditioner doesn’t rank as high on the list of priorities as it once did, and as for shaving the legs – forget about it.

I know the lions won’t get you, Teddy, my brave boy.  If there are lions where you are, then you growl and roar with them, scratch them behind their ears and run with them over the plains.  If there are lions where you are, you are their king.  But I wish I could protect you, all the same.  I wish I had more time for you, that I could hold more time for you now.  Even when I can’t, you are not replaced.  I hope you know that, but I need to say it anyway.  You are not replaced.  You are still wanted.  I still miss and love you, often desperately.


Ten Months

June 15, 2009

I still want Teddy back.  Can I have him back, please?

Life is so full right now, so very full.  Things keep happening, and some of them are good, and all of them keep me busy, but I can’t seem to be busy enough to stop missing my boy.

We are moving in August, into the house we so dearly wanted, a crew of contractors will be in our current place this week, fixing interior water damage and driving N and the cats to distraction, Mom was here for a visit, after much scrubbing and vacuuming the house is almost clean, we’ve been having friends over for dinner, and I have new sandals coming in the mail.

While she was here over the weekend, my mom said something like “Once you have a child, you’ll be so busy you won’t know what to do.”  I know she meant it kindly and hopefully, and furthermore, that it’s almost certainly true, but it made me balk and squirm and stumble over my reply.  I had wanted that kind of busy.  That’s what I’d signed up for, in fact.  And if we have another baby, if we are so lucky, part of me will always be thinking, There should be two. And if we end up with two more, I’ll think, There should be three.

For the rest of my life, I  should always be busier than I am.  For the rest of my life, I’ll never be quite as busy as I want to be, even when I’m overwhelmed, overloaded, and dropping balls all over the place.

I’m coming to terms (if not yet to peace) with all of this.  But today I can’t help wondering what it would be like to be mothering a rambunctious 10-month-old.  I can’t stop thinking how nice it would be.  Possibly hair-raising, harried, hectic, and so busy I wouldn’t know what to do with myself, but nice.

Love you, little one.  Wish you were here.