It is August and Aly will be 26 this month, how did that happen? She doesn't seem to excited about this birthday, she has hit a place where they just aren't as fun as they use to be. When she was younger birthdays were a promise, they brought her closer to the things she wanted to experience, she wanted to be a teenager, wear make-up, learn to drive, be an adult, vote...
Her birthdays now bring her closer to 30 and farther away from her childhood, the place she was once so eager to escape from she now wants to hold onto, it happens to all of us. My heart is breaking for her I know what she is going through, my little Peter-Pan-ess. Time pulls her forward and the things she cherished most are becoming memories that are harder and harder to hold onto, and Stevie isn't here to hold her hand and be her friend.
It is a year of changes and growth.
I am 16 weeks pregnant today, at 46 that is a big change for me, my body, and this family. I am filled with something that feels like faith, magic, love, and wonder. It is so funny, I have had three children you would think this wouldn't be such a big deal but it feels brand new, like it's the first time I ever had a baby, that anyone has ever had a baby. This little wiggle is already a part of our family and feels like it always has been. I believe it has just been waiting for the door to open to come home.
Aly... is getting squishy and maternal, she fights it but I can see and feel her softening. She will miss my 20 week ultrasound (gender) and is bummed. I am going to do something special for her she can still be a part of the day. I may try to call or text her while we are in the exam room so she can still be there. She has class that day, she could skip but it is the beginning of the school year for her and she needs to be there.
Noah...I can't believe how excited this kid is. He is a little boy and I thought he would be a little oblivious to the whole process. I was so wrong. This kid is in love with this baby and he keeps track of what week I am in, how much the baby is growing, what changes have taken place and how many days are left. He can't understand why it takes so long to grow something so small. At first he was sure this was going to be a boy, because that is what he ordered, a little brother, but he has changed his mind and thinks a little sister would be pretty awesome too and he wouldn't have to share his room if it was a girl! He has picked the names out for the baby and they are good names. He is such a sweet and amazing person. He is taking the morning off of school to be at the ultrasound and he will be at the birth with Aly, my sister, and Steve.
Steve...is doing his best to be a good guy but this baby isn't something he imagined for himself. He feels like he is too old, that our relationship is too fragile, that the future is too unpredictable. I get it, I just don't see things the way he does. I have no idea how his role in all of this will play out but I trust the universe to move us all in the direction we all need to go.
I am sure I did the right thing, I can feel it, everything is falling into place inside me. I felt so broken before, I couldn't make sense of anything, and I could not understand how I could truly put myself back together again but I moved in the direction my heart pointed me and here I am, and I am in a peaceful place.
This child does not replace Stevie, it does not take away that pain, and it isn't an escape from loss. I still miss my girl with all that I am, and there is no escape from the loss of a child but this experience is adding another layer to me; I had to learn to be a mother but not lose who I was as a person, I had to learn to be a caregiver but not lose my ability to be a mother, I learned to be an artist but still stay grounded to the life and family I had built, I learned to let Stevie go and still hold onto myself, now I will have a baby and have a new beginning but I will hold onto the child I lost. I can honor the loss of Stevie and the birth of this child in the same breath.
Is Stevie coming home? Does that happen? I am the kind of person who believes it can. I also believe that there could be a child that has been mine all along that has been patiently waiting for it's turn to come home. No matter what this child is loved and I am sure that this is how it was always meant to turn out, I just had to trust the path I was walking, the mountains I was climbing and the destination that seemed so far away and impossible to get to.
I am a blessed person. On the days when my sorrow is deep I forget, all I can feel is what I have lost, and it is so hard to remember what I have had, what still waits for me. Since I was a child I believed in magical things, witches, fairies, God, angels, birthday wishes, star wishes, moon wishes. I lived in worlds I invented, created imaginary places to hide the things that made me afraid, wrapped hope up in shiny paper and kept it in my pockets.
As an adult it is hard to believe in what was once so easy and felt so real. Stevie's death flattened me out, I felt like I was alone on an island, and not a pretty one. The sea took a tiny bit everyday and I knew one day I would be swallowed by it, and it would taste like tears and feel like falling. Then there were days the sun would come out and dry out the shore just a little, the waves would quiet and I could hear birds far away, in my pockets I could feel something shiny...hope.
It has been four years, and my island is my home, my house is on it, my family is here, my friends, my life. The sea is there and sometimes I am pulled to take my little row boat out into it, brave it, face it, swim in it. It can't swallow me now but it will forever be a part of me, it is what my tears are made out of.
This baby is promise, this baby is wrapped in shiny paper and this baby is helping me believe in magical things again.
My oldest baby is a woman now, still my child, still my little girl with the curly hair the gentle heart, and the laugh that melts me. My Stevie lives in my heart, she is a part of my soul and she surrounds me with her love. My little boy is growing up so fast but he is the glue that has kept my heart in one piece, he is love, he is music, he is sweetness.
This is a year of change, growth, and healing...