Monday, January 09, 2006

Ten months

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.


DinosaurD said...

Hey, from where I am right now, a pound and a half sounds good (I'd gladly take it anyway).

Once they are past a few months of age, most babies are fine in the cold as long as they are well bundled (and you can always layer a blanket over the top of the stroller to create a little mini-environment). It's the kind of thing you never learn until you actually need it - I hope you will eventually need to know all these kinds of details.


Catherine said...

A friend mentioned how hard it must be to "leave Alex behind" at the New Year. I was a bit disturbed by the fact that I wasn't upset at all. I'm so glad to see that I'm normal.

And I'm glad I could make you laugh at the torture that is the grocery store. I swear the universe is out to kick me in the teeth some days.

kate said...

Just sending some ((((((((hugs)))))) and thinking of you....

deadbabymama said...

Acceptance is tough, but it is what you need to do. As you said a couple of posts ago, it just is.

stephanie said...

Dude, a pound and a half is nothing to sneeze at. I've been meaning to email you, but I don't have your eddress at home. Will get you tomorrow, for sure.

April said...

I cannot even begin to imagine the heartache and pain that you went through with the loss of your son. My heart breaks just thinking of it... but I wanted to let you know how much I admire the strength and preseverence you had to get through such unspeakable pain.

I hope that happiness is showered upon you in the new year.