Tag Archives: memories

Reflecting on moments lost

The other day, I mistakenly clicked on a link a friend shared on Facebook and watched this video.

Video screenshot

Yes, it is lovely.

Did you catch the birthdate? This little guy was born 2 days before Hudson.

I’m pregnant and hormonal so I blame the Friday morning waterworks on that.

But seriously.

We were robbed.

This video runs 6:54. Crying, laughing, sleeping, taking his first steps, trying his first solid foods, the video’s little hero has 365 experiences in less than 7 minutes that my daughter will never have. We got three days with our daughter, but not one single second of interaction like a parent SHOULD experience with their newborn. I think of the joy and magic that can be captured in a second, seconds I would give just about anything to experience with Hudson, and I realize how much we take for granted these tiny moments in our lives.

Something about the dates in that video, dates when seconds should have been blurring together in our sleep deprivation and new parent frustration, made me feel the distinct, harsh, jagged pangs of loss and absence that I had been able to blissfully ignore for the past 6 months or so. There is emptiness buried under the happiness of our son’s impending arrival, and I’m reminded of it at surprising moments by unexpected 7 minute videos.

We have seconds and moments to look forward to, and we’ll be wiser than to take them for granted. But sometimes I yearn for the missing moments in a way that takes my breath away.

We love our son. We love our daughter. We ache for our daughter. And these feelings can coexist in one, most-of-the-time happy couple.

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Show Off

Last night, I definitely felt Bullet kicking from the outside.

I was lying in bed reading my latest book in The Hangmans’ Daughter series, resting my hand on my recently coconut-buttered belly. It was faint and fluttery, no where near the emphatic kicks that our very active daughter would give me towards the end of our pregnancy with her, but hey, we’re 18 weeks.

“I’m pretty sure I just felt Bullet kick from the outside!” I exclaim to the Hubs, who is reading in bed beside me, probably some wartime conflict novel.

He immediately reaches over to get a piece of the action, resting his strong hand on my belly.

Hudson used to freeze when the Hubs would try to feel her kicking and moving. It was kind of amusing, like maybe she thought she was in trouble. How could she tell it was her father’s hand and not my touch?

So we half-anticipated that Bullet would be the same – frozen under the disciplinary hand of his (I’m sure its a boy) father.

*Kick*

“Did you feel that?” I ask, hopeful.

“Was it right up here?” the Hubs asks, putting a little more pressure with his thumb, where the kick had landed.

“Uh-huh!” I laugh, because this is awesome. Sharing this with my husband is priceless, a memory I don’t want to forget.

He pokes a little harder with his thumb, trying to get a reaction from the Bullet.

*Kick*

This time in the middle of his palm. As if to say “Oh… you gotta be quicker than that, Dad!”

We laugh together, and my eyes well up with tears, because I’m thinking of how precious this memory is right now, and also about how precious these moments were with our daughter. I think to myself, “I need to be sure and write about this, make a note of the date that we first felt the Bullet move from the outside,” milestones and mental keepsakes that I am thankful I can never misplace.

Documented here for the Bullet’s lifetime.

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Choked up

Today I took my niece to school.

My niece (my brother’s daughter) is nine years old, and she’s lovely, a stylish and fun and smart little one with thick, dirty blonde hair and high-high top (like, knee high!) Converse tennies. The crayon drawing in Hudson’s bed at the hospital? That’s my niece’s artwork.

“Love Hudson” – art by my niece, NAS

I got to make her scrambled eggs and talk to her about school and gymnastics and Thanksgiving break, and then we piled into my car and I took her to school. As I was slow-creeping through the parking lot behind other carfulls of kids ready for school, I thought back to just over a year ago, before I was pregnant, the last time I took my niece to school.

I remember thinking to myself last September, “This is going to be fun to do someday… take my kids to school.”

And today I realized that I’ll never get to take Hudson to school.

I mean, I’ve realized a lot of things that I’ll never get to do with Hudson, do for Hudson, see Hudson do. But for whatever reason, dropping off my sweet, stylish niece today made my heart hurt a little bit for all the things I wish I were doing, all the things I wish I were looking forward to, all the ways I’ll never get to see our daughter grow up.

So when we pulled up to the curb, I took off my seatbelt and gave my niece a too-tight hug, and told her I loved her and encouraged her to have a great day, and once she got out I let myself cry.

Don’t take a single thing for granted. What you might think of as a mundane, trivial daily chore is the same thing that makes a grown woman choke up in a grade school parking lot, slow-creeping over the speed bumps, stopping for the little 3rd grade flagger, wishing for a world of experiences she’ll never have.

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