I lost a pound and a half this week! My first (horrific) week on Weight Watcher has been a tiny success. I had hoped for a loss that might more equally balance out the torment of being so hungry so often, but I'll take whatever I can get.
It's amazing how much wanting to be healthy for a baby can motivate a person.
I went for a nice long, chilly walk this morning too. I know I'm alone all day, but for some reason it felt nice to get out and walk alone too. I walked along the secluded trail at the end of our street that opens up to the water reservoir (also known as "our lake") and then walked through the neighbourhood and home.
There's something immensely satisfying about hearing nothing but the sounds of the wind blowing through dried grasses, birds chirping and your own feet crunching on gravel, snow and ice as you walk. It's nice to make a noise - to be heard and to have your sounds mingle with the others about you and eventually float off into nothingness.
Admittedly, I worried a little about being on the path all by myself. At about the halfway point when, if I needed to, the escape wouldn't be any quicker if I turned and ran back than it would be if I ran ahead, I started to panic a little. But all was calm and peaceful. I didn't see a single soul on the path through the woods or once I got out to the open area of the reservoir. It was very exhilarating being the only person there. I owned the path. I owned the lake. I owned the breeze that whipped through my hair and dove into my lungs. I was the only one there to experience that moment and I reveled in it.
It was good. So good.
On the way back home through the neighbourhood I suddenly started thinking about Thomas' stroller in our basement. It's still in the two boxes it came in. Still unopened. Untouched. I thought about what it would be like to be pushing it, and Thomas in it, up the street and back home.
I wondered if today would have been too cold for him, but I figured if I bundled him up properly he'd be just fine. He would, after all, be 10 months old today. I guess that's old enough for a stroll through the neighbourhood on a brisk January day. Isn't it?
It's strange that I don't know that for sure. It feels like that's something I should know - I'm his mother for heaven's sake. But of course, I don't need to know that at all. It doesn't matter how cold it is. When Thomas walks with me, he doesn't need my protection. He doesn't need an extra blanket or a scarf around his neck.
I thought about pushing him in the stroller and my world didn't fall in. There was a flicker of pain, but also just the sense of the ordinariness of this life without Thomas. This is what my life is; thinking about "what if" and not knowing if it's too cold to take a baby outside, even though I gave birth to a baby 10 months ago. And, for some reason, that's okay.
I'm shocked that it doesn't feel like I'm leaving him behind, even though it probably sounds like that's precisely what's happening. It doesn't. I'm not. To me it feels like I'm accepting his absence - not railing against it the way I have been for so long.
There's nothing I can do. He's gone. I can't bring him back no matter how much I want him here. No matter how much I wish I was pushing him through the streets where we live, I can't. That isn't the relationship Thomas and I have. Ours is different.
Slowly, and out of nowhere, the longing and sorrow are becoming ordinary. It's not necessarily that they're lessening, it's just that I'm accepting that they're becoming part of me.
I've talked about this - about sorrow being part of who I am - but I didn't understand what that meant until now. It's not happening to me, it is me. It's as much a part of me as my brown hair, long eyelashes and ample bum.
And it's okay.
I don't know why or how, but it's okay.