We were only a couple months out from A’s stillbirth at Christmastime last year. Heavy in the fog of early intense grief, E and I did not do anything specific in his memory. He was included in my extended family’s gift giving which pleased my heart; they made donations in his honor to various bereavement organizations.
Maybe because I am more energetic and clearheaded a year later or maybe because a 14-month-old at Christmas is more engaging than an 8-week-old, E and I decided to shop for our son and whatever we bought for him we’d donate to a local toy drive. We went to a couple different stores because we each had a special gift in mind. I wanted a ride-on, push-able toy. I figure our guy would be practicing out this walking business about now and would utilize a large, sturdy toy on wheels that he could push and thus walk around. E really wanted to get an animal puppet. We had seen them at a local shop before A died and he’s thought about it ever since (he got one for Dragon too).
In addition to those two items, we picked up a few more things. Surely the other holiday shoppers passing us in the aisles wouldn’t have thought anything strange about our conversation because we discussed it as if A was alive and well.
“Do you think he’d like these magnets?”
“Eh, he’d probably put them directly into his mouth.”
“Yeah, you’re right. Plus it says 3 years + on the box.”
“Which puzzle should we get him? One of these with the knobs or a block puzzle.”
“Dinosaurs or farm animals?”
“Ooh, the classic Fisher Price corn popper.”
“Hell no. That thing is so noisy and annoying. I don’t want it in my house.”
“Ha ha ha, fair enough.”
Once we brought the toys home I had the strongest urge to lie down with them; to surround myself with these packaged playthings. As though that would somehow make me feel more connected to my son and the little boy he would be right now.
I wanted to take a photo before I dropped them off at the donation center. Perhaps this will become an annual tradition; buying age appropriate gifts for our missing son. As emotionally difficult as it was, I’m very glad we did it and in a way it does make me feel closer to A.
|A's final haul|