More Bath Time

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

I've mentioned - giving Max a bath was a favorite activity for both Ted and I.  There is nothing better than doing something for your child that he/she enjoys most.  If his favorite thing had been eating, I am sure my favorite thing would have been feeding him (I DID love feeding him too, by the way).  Baths didn't start off so relaxing for Maxie.  In fact, they were somewhat stressful.

But, around two months, bath time became Maxie's absolute favorite time.  He liked warm water and wash cloths and getting kissed and having so much attention paid to him.  He smiled and wiggled and squeaked with glee.  He splashed and splashed and loved every minute of the ritual.  Baby Maxie baths were the highlight of every day for me.  I rushed home, anticipating the fun we'd have.

I miss those moments most of all.  We bathed Maxie on our kitchen counter in his Fisher Price Whale tub (a hand-me-down from Marla's daughter Ella).  Ted put sky lights in our kitchen and Max would sometimes sit in the bath, super relaxed and smile at the trees moving in the breeze.  I wonder now if he saw something I didn't see.  These days, I often stare at the empty counter space for long periods of time, feeling empty sorrow wash over my whole soul.  What I wouldn't give for one more bath.

My mom bought a new bathtub for Baby M.  It's a rainforest bath and it has different stages for a growing baby.  I think it is probably a good idea to start fresh with a new bathtub.  So many of the memories I have with Max still feel so painful and raw.  I worry about forgetting but then I also worry that starting all over with a new baby will bring those memories to the surface and bring back the acute early pain.  We used to keep Maxie's bath in the big bath in Maxie's bathroom.  After he died, I couldn't go into that bathroom unless the shower curtain was closed.  If I could see the blue bath peeking out at me, my chest hurt.  A new bathtub might help.  Or will it?  Or would keeping the rituals the same help?  I have mixed feelings about initiating new routines with a new little dude.  He will be his own person though and so new, in his case, will be good, I think.  Will anything help?  Will a new baby help, for example?  Max was SO special.  The answer to all of my prayers in too many ways to explain here.  He saved my soul - not that I even knew it needed saving until he arrived on the scene.  I cannot expect Baby M to save this soul.  THIS soul isn't even fully here anymore.  THIS soul is already partly dead.

It's getting close - time to start creating new memories - while both trying to hold tight to the old ones AND keep a distance from them to protect myself.  Will Baby M love baths like Max?  Or will there be something else that brings the look of pure contentment to his face?  Will his presence cause me to forget all that was lovely and perfect and special about my first love, Maxie?  Oh god I hope not.  If I could ask for one wish (other than bringing Max back to me), it would be that I am able to keep Max alive in my heart and mind for all of my years to come.  That his favorite things continue to be fresh in my mind and heart.  That he always stays with me strongly and that my love for him never fades even one ounce.

Maxie - still counting down the days until we can be together again.  Mommy misses you SO.......


Jared Brumbaugh said...

Oh Abby, my babies love bath time. Everyday that was the one thing I will rush back from work to do and with Jayden I enjoy those baths with Jayda at my side always helping. When we moved from the house, I cry the most over leaving the countertop. The bay windown in the kitchen to the outside. Jared asked me if I wanted him to reap the countertop and install it in the new house; but I knew it was silly. Too many memories. You will make new memories because even though I believe most sibblings like somethings the same way, they also have their own special things they like. Baby M will bring amazing new moments. I think your wish will be granted; your love for Maxie and the place he has in your heart will never change.

Bianca said...

I love Maxie's clear and calm gaze and his contented smile in the first picture, this is just how he lives on in my memories and heart. He will always be so special, Maxie truly has this uniquely beautiful, shining soul. I know that your love for him will never fade, he had your heart from moment one and will always have a home there.

Rachael said...

Oh, Abby. Those sweet sounds he made, those huge eyes. What an angel, even when he was on earth. I love seeing you hold your precious monkey Max. He was so cozy on your shoulder. Thanks for sharing that video. Such a magical moment.

Egreeno said...

I know you will be able to keep Maxie's memory alive in your own mind and heart forever and I am just as certain that you will continue to find meaningful ways for others to remember him as well and his legacy will be felt by many. The people who wander in the woods and find the pillar in his name in Israel, the other parents and families that are supported and validated by your writings and the truth and experience you share here on your blog, and who knows that future events and projects will come. But I know that is no consolation. It’s cruel beyond words that you have to think of his memory rather than holding him and watching him grow in the here and now.

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