Thursday, October 13, 2016

Fives Year Out

Five years old feels like such a milestone. Kindergarten, big boy interests, growth spurts. And yet, there is so little to say because I’ve said it all before. I wonder who he’d be. I wonder what he’d look like. I want him here in the midst of our hectic, messy life. I want him here with his little sisters. I want very much to know him.
A’s death has undoubtedly affected my parenting. In many ways, I am a much better parent because of A and because of his death. But there is also a level of fear that I don’t think non-babyloss parents feel. I fear that my living children will die or my husband. Because this terrible tragedy befell us with no warning sign, no explanation and not due to anything that we did, it often feels like bad things will continue to happen to us.

This paranoia was clear over the winter. Baby Sheep was still a smooshy infant and we had gotten her accustomed to sleeping in her crib in the room right beside ours. If she got cold during the night, she’d wake up, which sucked for everyone. But if I overbundled her, I was sure I’d kill her. (Overheating has been linked to an increased risk of SIDS). So there I was every bedtime stressing out, standing at the changer hemming and hawing over what to dress her in. I’d finally decide. Zip her into her sleepsack and put her to bed. Later on, while laying in bed myself, trying to fall asleep, my anxiety would rev up wondering if she’s quiet because she’s sleeping soundly or because she’s dead.

She did not die last winter and at 15-months of age now, I’m (a little) less concerned about SIDS. But every night for months I was sure the pajamas I chose were going to be her demise.
A’s birthday falls on a Monday. E and I are both taking off of work but still sending the girls to preschool and the sitter respectively. We don’t have definite plans but I expect we will go through A’s photos, finger the soft tuft of his hair and cry…a lot. I’d like to spend some time outside. There is something soothing about being in the quiet of nature.

We’ll pick up the girls a little earlier than usual and head to the local toy store to pick out something 5-year-old A would like. Maybe we’ll do something fun like last year or maybe we’ll stop for a special treat at the ice cream parlor. And every year we do an act of kindness in A’s honor. Though we haven’t decided what that will be yet.

All of these things are good and I want to do them. But there is still part me that is angry and resentful. Makes me want to knock all of the toys off the shelf at the store; throw my ice cream cone against the wall and scream at the happy “complete” families walking down the street. Because photos, snippets of hair and “would be” fantasies are not enough. Nothing will ever be enough to right the wrong of his absence.


  1. Five years is such a big milestone. A would be such a proud big boy to be turning 5. I wonder what he would've been like, too. I'm so, so eternally sorry that he never got to show the world - and especially his mama - who he was. He is still so loved. So missed. I'll do an act of kindness on Monday, too, in his memory. You and A will always be part of my own experience of babyloss. Our friendship has been integral to getting this far in it. I'm sending you so much love over the next few days, and hoping that you and E get a sunny day to be outside together in, that you and your girls have a good afternoon, that the day gives you as much as it can and whatever you need. xoxoxo Remembering A, always.

    1. Oh, my Friend! Thank you for the comment and for your unwavering support over these many years. I am so grateful to have you and other babyloss parents in my life. There are many people in my "regular" life who truly care but they just don't know how to support me or what to say. Your sentiments here are spot on and echoes what my grieving heart feels. Thank you, truly.

    2. E and I went to the grocery store on our way home from school and bought a ton of stuff for the local foodbank as an act of kindness in A's memory. E helped me pick out things that 'a family would like to eat for dinner' and a whole bunch of baby food, and I told her about A and how he would be 5 today. Love to you, my friend. Your little boy is remembered and missed.

    3. Oh that is just wonderful! Above and beyond! And we are so very touched that E was involved and the sweetness and thoughtfulness with which she selected groceries. It fills my heart to know our little guy is touching lives on the other side of the continent. Thank you so very much.