Tag Archives: holidays

4th of July

If there’s one day of the year when I should write, it’s today.

This is the day we looked forward to with so much anticipation back in 2012: Hudson’s Due Date.

On this day, two years ago, I watched fireworks and cried as I realized that I would not be getting my 4th of July baby. Our little firework showed up a week later and filled three days with so much.

The arrival of Summer 2013 was difficult. Summer belonged to Hudson. Warm weather, beautiful sunrises, gardening, golfing and spending time in the sunshine made me wistful for our sweet girl. And even as summer began in earnest and we KNEW the Bullet was on his way, I spent the month of July with a lump in my throat and the Missing-My-Girl just a bit heavier on my heart.

My mom told me once that you can’t truly begin to get over a loss until you’ve gone through a full year, because you need to experience all the holidays and milestones without that person.  Making our situation even more difficult: That year full of Firsts-Wthout should have been a year full of Firsts-With our baby.

And today was Anson’s first 4th of July.

Every once in a while I will pick up my baby and realize he’s mine.  I’m not sure if that makes sense to anybody else. In the Year of Firsts-Without, I remember comforting myself from time to time by imagining our future children and how wonderful our life would be together.

We are living that life now, in the Year of Firsts-With-Anson, and it’s better than I could have imagined.

As a parent, you hear this a lot: “Enjoy this phase, it goes so fast!”

Anson’s first four months have gone by awfully fast. It’s unbelievable how slowly the last half of a pregnancy can drag on, and how quickly that same amount of time can fly with an infant.

Another thing you hear fairly frequently from parents who’ve been there, done that: “Every stage is better than the last one.”

This, I can also vouch for. Every single day is better than the last one. I can’t explain it, but it’s awesome. Anson changes so much from day to day. I swear I went to get him one morning and he LOOKED OLDER. This morning, I tried to sit Anson up on his own and he went timber the second I took my hand away. By the afternoon, he could balance himself sitting up for a couple of seconds!

Though I miss Hudson every single day, today, I’m so grateful for the Firsts I get to experience with Anson.

On Anson’s first 4th of July:
Like a true American, he puked on himself before noon.
He had a yelling match with his cousin C.
We learned that he is un-phased by the erratic POP and BANG of fireworks.

And there was this:

Sweet, sleepy boy.

Sweet, sleepy boy.

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Happy 5 Month Birthday, Baby Girl

I cannot believe that it has been five months since our girlie was born, just under five months since the world as we know it got smashed to pieces. Have I been this person for five months?

This person.

Heartbroken.
New priorities.
Heightened feelings.

Most importantly: a mom.

We’re sneaking up on what would have been Hudson’s first Christmas. And while I imagine this particular holiday season will be rough, I do like to allow myself the luxury from time to time of imagining what she’d be like right now.

Chubby all around. Cheeks, thighs, arm and neck folds. Sticky sideways smiles, no symmetry to Hudson’s expressions quite yet. An obscene wardrobe – the most stylist 5-month old on the block, thanks to Momma Sue and Grandma Dub and crafty Aunties. Giggles. I imagine what our daughter’s giggles would be like, and it makes me ache for a sound I never heard.

I won’t lie to you, Hudson and I would be wearing matching Mrs. Claus outfits this holiday season for some kind of a photo shoot.

I allow myself the luxury of imagining our house with a baby in it. Slowly but surely, the assorted baby paraphernalia we brought home with us from the hospital has made its way back to Hudson’s room, and we’re down to just her heartbeat teddy bear, a photo album, a box of Hudson’s Heroes teeshirts, and the biggest size of this picture that Costco would print up on our wall.

I miss laying kisses on those sweet feet.

I miss laying kisses on those sweet feet.

But if Hudson had lived to come home with us, the joint would be awash with rattles and tummy time mats and jumpers and her black and white zebra and a whole wealth of toys I don’t even know about yet because we only made it as far as newborn toys. I’m confident at one point or another, the Hubs or I would have stepped on one of the toys strewn about, resulting in a torrent of loud words that end in *** that would have us then concerned that our daughter’s first word would be a four letter one.

In a way, I’m grateful that Hudson didn’t come home with us only to die some other way. How could I ever be in our living room after spending hours of tummy time with her there? How could I step foot in her nursery knowing she’d spent hours in baby dreamland in there? How could I lay eyes on the rocker knowing I’d fed her in that rocker?

Except of course as I imagine those experiences with our daughter in our home, I have to take every thing I said up there back. I wish for any world where I spent time interacting with our daughter, even if it were still going to end this painful way. We are missing out every day on some kind of a milestone or achievement that our little overachiever would have been delighting us with. What I wouldn’t give for memories of staring contests with our googly eyed little newborn! I would trade a thousand restful nights for one interrupted by my baby’s screaming and fussing.

And I know these experiences await me, when Baby Dub Dos, Tres and Quatro arrive on the scene (did I just predict triplets? Dear me!). So when I step on those baby toys, in the future, I’ll remember today and I’ll grit my teeth but I won’t swear. Those sleep deprived nights will be a dream come true. The world will stop for baby staring contests.

Nothing in this life is a guarantee. The only thing in life that you can truly control is how you view your life – the gratefulness with which you greet each day, the choice to smile instead of frown, the decision to be brave and to take risks and to love all out. I’m working on these things, and life is more full. I’m choosing these things, and I feel rewarded. It’s the worst thing in the world that I don’t have a 5-month old today, but my day is not ruined.

A huge hunk of my heart is gone forever, but I don’t feel incomplete. Because that’s what I choose.

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#GivingTuesday

It’s that time of year – when every day of the week gets a sweet hashtag.

#CyberMonday
#BlackFriday
#SmallBusinessSaturday

and my new favorite:

#GivingTuesday

This is a time of massive spending across the world (Happy Birthday, Jesus!), and that’s fine. We are blessed, even in this tough economy, to be able to celebrate this time of year, give gifts, be Secret Santas, stuff stockings, etc. I personally am very much looking forward to some of the Dub and Shiz family traditions in the coming weeks. I have even started my own “Wish List” – little things I might want or need this year that I would never buy for myself, like a beer brewing kit or instructional photography DVDs.

Do not think that I am by any means intending to condemn Christmas and Holiday spending. Go to town, folks. Let’s boost our economy.

But on this one day, #GivingTuesday, maybe we can do some giving that makes a real, positive difference.

Make some cookies and deliver them to somebody you know who is having a tough holiday.
Donate some books to the Goodwill.
Write a fat check to your favorite non-profit.

Today, I donated $100 to the Forget-Me-Not Foundation in Hudson’s name. I have been making small donations over the past few months as people have purchased the Hudson’s Heroes teeshirts. If you are looking for a worthy cause to donate a little cash to, I would highly recommend the Forget-Me-Not Foundation.

This organization provided us with something you simply cannot put a price tag on, something I can’t put on my holiday wish list and something that I wouldn’t trade for any amount of cashola: memories with and of our beautiful, precious, once-in-a-lifetime daughter Hudson. Without this organization, I might not have a sweet teddy bear that plays Hudson’s heartbeat when you squeeze it. I would probably not have the 3D molds of her cute little feet. I wouldn’t have a disc of pictures taken by a professional photographer who donated her time to capture the last days of our daughter’s life (this is one treat that I’m saving to look at, knowing at this point that these are the last photographs I’ll ever see of our baby).

So make your list, check it twice. Then be a little nice, and do something today for #GivingTuesday.

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So it begins… baby costumes

I stumbled upon a box of baby goodies today. Mostly it was full of clothes that some friends had given us, the stuff that was going to be too big for Hudson for a while. But right on the top of the box were some baby costumes that Momma Sue bought for Hudson and gave me at my baby shower.

A luau get-up – grass skirt, flowered leis, sunglasses.
A little kitty cat headband and tail.
Baby Superhero: complete with red and blue and gold wristbands, winged cap and mask.

It gave me the tearchoke, seeing this forgotten treasure. Hudson and the Hubs and I should be trick or treating this Halloween. A heart-strangling wish for a different kind of Halloween overcame me as I imagined Hudson as a wild, red-headed Masked Hero, me and the Hubs in some kind of side-kick attire, unabashedly toting our baby girl to a few family-oriented photo ops.

My Facebook feed was flooded with friends’ pictures of their adorable babies in their adorable baby costumes. Baby ladybugs. Baby monkeys. Baby lions. An entire safari of adorable other-people’s-babies.

And so it begins. The wall that is the holidays has officially begun.

 

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