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.