The first days home with the new baby, with my broken heart all over the place, I couldn't get close to Ramona. It was happening all over again. The choking sadness. And somehow my little girl got caught up in it again. How? How? I couldn't get close to her and her behavior pushed me further away. I asked her to eat a real dinner, she cried hard, I scooped her up and held her tight. It was happening again. My life suddenly changed. And there was Ramona, somehow caught up in it again.
Last night I was putting her to bed. Putting her to bed even though my body was tired. Putting her to bed even though I had a baby to nurse. Putting her to bed to win her back and soothe our hearts. As I helped her into her pajamas and covered her up, sang her a song and played with her hair, my mind went back to the place where I was constantly saying goodbye to her.
The night Elwood was born, I was putting Ramona to bed right before my water broke. I gave her a bath and tucked her in because I had a feeling. A feeling her brother was coming and I would soon be separated from my little girl. I had never been away from her for so long, and knew when I came home everything would be different. In the weeks prior to Elwood's birth I was saying goodbye to Ramona constantly. Hanging on to her tight. Feeling the impending change with fright.
But last night as I tucked my Ramona in, as I started to go back to that place where I hang on and I say goodbye, I stopped myself. There is no goodbye needed. There is no goodbye. We made it. I'm home. We are all home. We have endless nights together. We have countless tries to make it right and good. And in that moment I forgave myself for all of it.
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Our baby boy came two weeks early. Last week I was reeling. I should still be pregnant...what happened...I'm already home from the hospital....but I should still be pregnant. This loop ran through my head on repeat.
I struggled to write this, but the stories are there, and they will unearth themselves, they will shake themselves loose over time. The stories I can tell from the last two weeks are the ones I will tell as an old lady. When my water broke, when they put my baby boy in my arms, how hard it was the first night home. We have lived some of the most important of our days in the last two weeks.
The pierce in my heart is starting to fade. Oh so quickly too. The pierce of homesickness for the way things used to be. My particular brand of baby blueness is homesickness. This time I expected it and had forgiven myself far in advance. I forgive myself for being sad and lonesome for the way it used to be. I can cuddle my baby without fear. I can say exactly how I feel. Because I know I'm good. Because I know time will heal us and we will be home before we know it.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Sunday, May 6, 2012
This week you turned three. But I feel like it was your first real birthday. You passed out cupcakes to friends at school. You walked around lost after your birthday party was over. All my friends are gone. I'm still wearing my birthday dress, but my party is over. And I smiled at you. Because now you know how it is. We look forward to things, we love them, they end, we are sad, sometimes relieved. Now you are three and starting to know these things.
Ramona, how did we get through the last three years? It was hard, but we did just fine. How did they go so fast? How is it possible it's only been three? I don't yearn for your babyhood. I'm too distracted by how neat you are in each new moment. How tall you are. How you said, "what the heck" and called your dad a "poopyhead". It's not all sweet, huh? I'm okay with that.
Less and less I see you as a list of achievements, milestones, percentiles. And I just see my little girl, who is not a baby. A funny girl. A sweet girl. Willful, difficult, flexible, loyal. This week I saw an adult woman sitting next to her adult daughter, they could not quit hugging. And I couldn't quit thinking of you, Ramona. Because I have a daughter too. and she's the best.
Happy Birthday, Beautiful.