Normal and the Morning Routine

Last night we went to a party and acted normal.  We were genuinely happy to see friends.  We ate, we joked, we went swimming.  We actually enjoyed ourselves.  At the same time, I felt incredibly guilty for acting normal.  Obviously, our lives are anything but normal.  We took a short break from grieving, and of course, in every moment, we were still missing you, Maxie!  Watching our friends' children play in the pool was especially bitter sweet, as I imagine it will continue to be, seeing other kids grow up and wondering what you would have been like.  Would you too eventually have been jumping off the diving board into the pool?  Would you have been eating hot dogs or would you have become a picky eater?  Would you have been crying to get another one of momma's homebaked cookies?  My biggest fear is that Ted and I will never be "normal" again, and, at the same time, I don't ever want to be normal again.

We wake up every morning reminded of the fact that you are not here.  I think that for both of us, it is the worst time of day.  Reality sinks in within seconds and we remember that this is what our lives are now.  It is so incredibly sad.  Ted and I have never been morning people.  It is hard for us to get out of bed and we generally hit the snooze button at least 10 times before starting our days.  Maxie made mornings something to get excited about.  Starting at 4 months old, Maxie slept from 7 pm - 6 am.  A little human alarm clock that was totally reliable.  We kept his monitor on in our room all night long so we could hear him start to sound his tiny cry upon awakening.  First I would go to his room to nurse him and then Daddy would come in to get him ready for daycare.  As soon as Maxie was done nursing, he would "pop off" and start looking around the room for Ted as I yelled "Oh, Daddy!".  Usually Ted made a slow approach, sometimes hiding behind the door frame and trying to surprise his baby.  Max's face would burst into a gigantic smile when Ted came in the room.  So happy to see his Daddy!  Ted would put on a fun CD - most recently, we listened to a lot of Jack Johnson's "Curious George" album in the morning.  That was the signal to Max that it was time for the happiest part of his day to begin - Daddy Time.  Ted spent about a half hour playing with Max, stretching him (Max needed a little physical therapy for a stiff neck on one side which I am sure I will get to down the road..), changing his diaper, picking out his outfit and acting goofy with him.  I would run into the other room and pump (something I did until just a few weeks ago) while this was going on.  When they finished their business, Ted would come into our bedroom with Max sitting in his forearms...both looking so proud of each other.  Then we would all get into bed and spend time playing as a family.  For the brief period of time that Maxie was with us, mornings were something to get out of bed for. Mornings are now a reminder of the sad state of our empty home.  The house is still and quiet and we are reminded that this terrible nightmare has not all actually been just a bad dream.

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