The car stops and I pop out and open the door to the backseat where a little boy grins back at me from his carseat. 'Ready to go to a new playground?' He squeals and grins and literally bounces into my arms. 'Someone's excited about a new playground,' comments David. We walk the block toward Franklin Square park as Micah continues to squeal and point at the park coming into view. And my mind drifts....'this is all we ever wanted in the first place, just to be a family and do simple family things.' And my mind answers itself: "why did it have to be such a difficult road to get here?"
This is where I am right now. Happy raising my living child. The rainbow baby who came after. Content even.
And yet the grief is still there.
What it is to be inside my head these days is an ongoing dialogue between the light and the dark, the joy and the sadness. Invisible to almost all around me, I parent my dead son right along side the living one. I experience the world through my living child's eyes, and still wonder why my dead son didn't live to experience the world. I take joy in the simplest moments, a snuggle, a sloppy kiss, reading a book (even if its for the tenth time in a row)...and sometimes end up with tears in my eyes for the boy who never got to read the book once, who never gave me a wet sloppy kiss, who never learned to hug.
Grief doesn't overwhelm anymore. Its just a presence, an old friend who comes and goes, we can easily pick up where we left off. It doesn't prevent me from enjoying the world anymore - if anything it makes me appreciate the tiniest moments of joy all the more.
But it also underscores the impermanence of it all. I worried when I was pregnant with Micah that if he lived I would be an overly cautious parent - one who wouldn't let him out of my sight, who would be too scared to allow him to take risks. In many ways, the opposite has been true - I don't sweat the small stuff, so his cries from a bump on the head or scraped knee are ok - I know he'll survive and be just fine. But when he has a high fever or attempts to dart away from me near the street, my mind can't help but wander...what if this were it, how quickly he could be taken from me.
To my non-babylost friends these thoughts must sound so morose, so wrong in a way. But I haven't blogged in nearly a year for a reason...the grief is no longer at the forefront, these thoughts are no longer what drive my being. They are present daily but so is love and joy. What Ezra taught me is to love and mean it, to find joy and inhabit it. This is how I have come to live my days since he left.