With very few exceptions, somehow I have managed to avoid spending time with babies and young children for the past 6 months. It's just been too painful a reminder that my Ezra isn't here. The special exceptions have been my nephews and niece (not the new one, haven't met her yet) and the children of my dearest friends. I've placed an absolute ban on infants, which will of course be broken in a few weeks when I go meet my new niece. This actually makes me very sad - I have always loved babies and children, and have always said that nothing makes me feel more whole than holding a small child.
And then today I made a new friend. At a gathering at a colleague's house, her 21 month old son, who had never met me before, walked into the crowded room, pointing at me, and motioned to the stairs - he wanted to go up and needed a hand to hold. And so I took his hand and up we went - until half way when he looked up at me and said 'up!' raising his arms above his head. When we got to the top and I went to put him down in the room where his brothers were playing, he said 'no' and pointed back to the stairs - so down we went. We made our way into the kitchen and spent a pleasant 20 minutes or so - him perched on my hip and nuzzled into my shoulder, eating dried cranberries which he requested one by one from atop a salad that was laid out on the counter. Until his dad came and took him so he could eat a more proper lunch.
I can't quite explain the warm cozy feeling I had holding this child, the energy he radiated. Certainly he was not my Ezra, and lately I have a hard time imagining Ezra at any age but slightly preemie newborn anyways. He was himself, testing his independence yet still needing the comfort of an adult nearby. And though it didn't last long, his snuggly goodness made me feel whole. In fact, I dare say it gave me hope.
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