Today Is The Day August 21 2013
Today is the day. Since it is late August, I knew this day would one day inevitably be upon me, yet I didn’t know how I would greet her. Would I awake to a glorious day of second chances or to a desire to wiggle so deep to the bottom of the bed that no one would find me? Today I declare I will live this day as a new beginning.
I am a lover. A lover of my children. All mothers are, or at least should be. But, judging by the comments I often get, I sense that sometimes I am more extreme in my love for them and my parenting of them. There is a cemetery just a few miles from here that bares my last name and the first names of my first born daughters. They were born still on this day 13 years ago. Really? My mommy brain is generally mush and often I don’t remember what book we read last night, but I remember clearly every second of that day. The monitors, the shots, the people, the chaos, the fear, the nausea, the noise, and most notable, the silence. I don’t allow myself to go to that place often as it is still very raw and pure. Dreams died on that day too. Beautiful little girls that would never grow old together and share the most sweet of sisterly secrets, never to marry, share a dance with their daddy or have babies of their own.
But because of them and their story, I am a more soulful (read as watchful) mother to the children that came after them….their brother and twin brother and sister. My oldest will tell you that I am hovering at best, suffocating at worst. I don’t know if that is because he is a pre-teen and that is what all prepubescent boys think of their mothers, or if it is because it is true. I admit it. I hold them all literally and figuratively close to me, as I don’t ever want to feel that kind of loss again. As I said, “extreme” and I know it. I have worn it as a badge of honor that against all odds, I went on to birth more babies and sustain them into young, productive”ish” lives. Should I be like that? Probably not, but it is how I do it all the same. I don’t want to, but I can’t undo what I have lived, felt, and seen. This type of over the top, fearful of every turn, hold tight and not let go parenting is hard and tiring. Very tiring! I want to lessen the reigns for me, and more specifically, for them. They deserve a life of chances and spontaneity and not closed door “what if’s”. The older they get, the harder letting go becomes but the more necessary it is for them.
So, today is the day. Not only do I celebrate and remember the kicks in my belly and beautiful life plans for those little girls, but on this day, I also lessen the hold on my other sweet cherubs. School starts today, so my little ones will quietly let go of my hand and walk away from me and enter into a world I can’t go into with them. I know they will manage just fine, but I am not sure how I will do.
As my oldest begins his first day of middle school (again, really?), I know he is full of angst and fear of the uncertainties of his new world. He, too, will conquer the halls and be okay. I, on the other hand, am having a harder time with this. He is my golden child. The one that brought the spark of life back to me and provided a purpose when I no longer thought that there was one. He was the first to call me mommy, and as a lover of my children, that means the world to me.
Because of the complications and outcome of the first pregnancy, I had been told that another pregnancy could be just as complicated. I laid flat on my back in bed for 7 months with that little nugget to make sure he safely made it into this world. Now I am tossing him into the halls of middle school and giving him some of that independence he craves and deserves yet sets me up to the vulnerabilities of another loss. He will lose more of his innocence in those halls and lose more of his need for me. Yet, he will gain worldly knowledge of friendships and life that will sustain him when I am no longer around. He needs that umbilical cord to be cut after all of these years, but I am just not sure I am ready for this day.
So here we are, August 21, 2013. The previous 13 years, this has been my goodbye day to two of my children. On this day, in this year, it is my goodbye day to all of my children. For the first time in the 13 years that my life changed so quickly and dramatically, today is the first time juxtaposition has reached up and grabbed me by the throat and made it difficult to breathe. They are 2 different goodbyes, but nonetheless, a parting of ways no longer connected to me.
Today, I will steal a moment of time from this day and make it my own, like I do every year on this date. I will open memory boxes and hold tight to baby blankets that still have tiny spots of blood on them, I will breathe in so deeply, longing for a smell that I know is no longer there. I will look at a picture with my happy, naïve face on it as I rubbed my very pregnant twin belly in anticipation of my bundles of joy. I will surround myself with pictures of their beautiful faces and oh so tiny features and give them each their own special time and reflect on the memories that were and could have been. I will do this alone, as others that are in my life will overlook the importance of this day.
Today, I will let go of my own insecurities and fears and let my other cherubs begin to experience life in a new way. A way that they deserve, not to be hovered over obsessively by a mother that loves them more than they can ever imagine. I will be there to pick them up from school and celebrate the glorious first day stories and victories they achieved. I will sit back and let it unwind with less fear that bad things happen to good people.
Today is going to be our new beginning and today is going to be a great day!