My goodness do I not have any time these days. For anything. It's been over a week since my last real post, and I have had so much swirling around my head. I cannot, however, seem to find any time to sit down and write, what with the mountains of laundry threatening to topple, the dinner that must be made, eaten, cleaned up, the house of hair in which we seem to live. Nevermind being present and loving to C and the boys.
Yes, just a few short months ago I had nothing but time. Time to sit and think and write and worry and obsess and grieve. Oh yes, and to grieve. Lately even my grief has taken a back seat to the very busyness of life. And when I take a minute to process that, I get really sad.
Over a year now. A year since I held my daughter's lifeless body for the first and last times. 2010 felt like a slingshot being pulled back, back, back, building tension, waiting for some kind of release. And then we brought little O into the world, and the slingshot let go. Everything whizzing by us at breakneck speed, me trying to hold on to every single newborn and infant moment. Trying to remember every silly and wonderful 2-and-a-half year old conversation. And then I realize it's not life doing the whizzing, but us.
So yes, it's been over a year. And I miss her no less. Despite having little time to sit and think and remember.
That was misleading. I think about her constantly. She is often the first thought in the morning, and always the last before going to sleep at night. But I find little time to ruminate, to wonder, to properly grieve. She stays the same little self, the same age, the same weight, and we move on and on. Having a new baby erases none of that hurt and sadness. It does, however, bring a new and different joy. But with it comes the shoulda-coulda-wouldas: what would she have looked like, have smelled like, who could she have been, who should I have been as a girl mother?
Little O has a different smell than E had as a baby. He is his own distinct little person. I can sniff him out across the room. He is delicious and wonderful and has his own babyness, different, again, than E had. it is marvelous. Oh how I love that baby, oh.
I've been thinking quite a bit lately about the word "just." As a modifier, not necessarily as an adjective. Like when I'm running or boxing or trying to contort myself into some yoga pose and everything seems too damn hard I go to, "Well, I JUST had a baby." Like I should cut myself some slack. But when does it go from JUST to, well, just? Is 3 months still JUST? I don't know. Is a year out from my beloved little girl dying still JUST? Some days it feels so fresh and raw and oozy, and some days it seems so far away.
Funny, the times when it feels so fresh are when I can actually remember and properly grieve. When life is at its most intense and fast-paced, she seems so very far away from me.
And then I start to wonder: when C and I eventually die (pleaseohpleaseletitbewaywaywaywayfarinthefutureandbeforeEorO), who will remember her? Who will carry her forward? Who will care about the beautiful box, handmade by a dear friend (that's another post, loves) filled with all her earthly possession? Who will understand? Who will carry her forward, moving her box from home to home, ever onward into the future?
Oh gosh, that makes me want to lay my head down and just weep. Because it's no one. Even the boys, they will understand, they will love their sister. But they can't. They weren't there. They didn't hold her and their tears didn't wet her beautiful little face.
This is my forever.
Switching gears slightly, I am so annoyed with Toy Story.
When I was pregnant with E, I told anyone who would listen that I didn't care if he was anything else but kind and compassionate. I'd met, by that point, too many rotten little kids to let mine be one of them. Fast forward to age two-and-a-half, when my day of reckoning has arrived.
E is about the most awesome little kid I could have asked for. He's polite, and funny and energetic and, well, he makes me laugh and want to pull my hair out all at once, depending on my frame of mind. What with all this grieving the past year and now this unending winter, we've been watching way more TV than I'd ever thought possible. And E loves his truck dvds, certain children's shows, and, most recently, some of the Pixar movies. A current favorite is Toy Story. Do you know what word comes up over and over in that movie? STUPID. As in "Stupid dog!" and "Did you all take stupid pills this morning?"
Why you gotta do me like that, Pixar? Don't you know my incredibly verbal kid is going to pick that word out like finding the marble under the shell? Don't you know I'm going to have to spend hours teaching him why that word is NOT APPROPRIATE for ANY USE? The amount of time spent on that throwaway little word in a movie is negligible; the amount of time I have to dedicate to keeping it out of our vocabulary is interminable. Gah! You're supposed to be making my life EASIER, movies.
Don't even get me started on my beloved Tomie dePaola throwing a "Shut up!" into one of his stories. Let's just say we'll no longer be choosing Bill and Pete Go Down The Nile from the library.