Looking Forward

Not long after Teddy and I got married, we went away on a weekend "mini-moon" to Ojai for the weekend.  I have loved it there ever since I was a kid, spending summers just up the road at sleep away camp (something I looked forward to all year long....Oh, I just loved it there!).  We had such a nice weekend.  One of our favorite parts was stopping at a boutique winery/antique shop on route 33. While there, we found the perfect framed pictures from an old children's book for our future baby's room.  We were so excited about them.  It was the first thing we bought in anticipation of our future family.  Those pictures represented our looking toward the future.

Less than a year later, Maxie was born.  What an exciting time in our lives!  We hung the pictures in his room over his changing table and when I would change him, he would smile up at them.  I wondered how we had known that he would love them....it must have been that feeling that I had about Maxie - somehow I had always known him.  Of course, I would know his taste in children's art even before he was conceived (oh, how I am tempted to insert a happy face emoticon here....but I won't).

When people say (or think) that it's ok that Maxie is gone because we can have other children and already have another child, they don't ever consider Maxie.  Even if Ted and I were fine (which we will never be), Maxie isn't fine.  And, frankly, his well being became more important to us than our own from the moment he was conceived (or at least, from the moment that we saw I was pregnant on the home test stick).  Maxie never had even one birthday party, he never spoke even one word, he will never get to go to sleepaway camp, or fall in love, or go to school, or anything really.

Ted and I always feel devastated for ourselves as parents, but somehow we even feel guilty about that.  Our greatest grief is for what Maxie will never have.  It's one of the many things that makes losing a child different from losing a parent or grandparent, who lived a full life.  Maxie never got to do anything.  Teddy and I have both lived long and full lives.  How can we fell sorry for ourselves?  Max got NOTHING!  Ted always says that he mourns the moments he will never have with Maxie (and he mourns these things so much) - watching football games, playing catch in the yard, going on camping trips together, taking him to travel town.... but he says it doesn't compare to the grief he feels that Max will never get to experience these things.  It doesn't even compare.

The Moyel at Maxie's bris told us to "soak up the moments...because they pass too quickly".  He didn't mean "because your baby might die", because nobody ever thinks their baby is going to die (which is why I feel like I have nearly nothing in common with blissfully happy new moms...nothing).  He meant that kids grow up too quickly.  I took that advice in and I savored every moment with Maxie.  I really did.  It is something that I am actually able to feel good about.  I took lots of pictures (but not enough - never enough) and cuddled, and relished bath time and nursing and feeding him and playing with him.  I lingered on every whiff of his sweet baby smell and of my lips pressed against his soft cheeks.  I loved my every moment with him.

I am trying to do the same with Mo.  I try not to imagine all of the things we will do together, because I am afraid of the heartbreak that could cause....again.  I live in the moment and that is all...maybe I let myself think to the next week.  That is probably why I feel the need to do a photo shoot for every holiday and chart his every month birthday.  It is why I film him doing mundane things, like sitting and playing with toys.  I don't want to forget a thing....because he will either grow up too quickly or not at all.

I am a planner - I like having things to look forward to - vacations, occasions, plans, parties.  When Maxie died, he had already lots of stuff on his calendar.  He was supposed to go with us to Palm Springs that weekend to see Ted's Aunts Dolly and Jan and a bunch of Ted's cousins, he was supposed to go to Utah with Ted the weekend after his funeral for a family reunion, we had started planning his first birthday, I planned on a trip for the week after his first birthday to visit our house in Costa Rica with my mom and Prima Sharon.

 Sometimes, when I am not paying attention, my mind wanders to what it would be like to see Mo grow up.  I imagine family vacations and trips to Disneyland, dropping him off at soccer practice, being lifted up on a chair at his Bar-Mitzvah with tears of joy rolling down my cheeks.  The idea is seriously bliss, but I stop myself.  I am scared to look ahead....so scared to think past April or May.  It's too much.  I just need to get through today.  I don't let myself think of growing old with Teddy or having grandchildren or seeing my kids play together.

I DO imagine lying on my own deathbed and I wonder if I will have visions of Max...if I will be visited by my grandparents who I love and miss so much.  Not looking forward makes me so sad, but I can't let myself go there.  I'm smart enough to know now that there is no point.

What matters is who I love today and how I love them.  What matters is that I control this minute of this day and that is all...that I relish THIS moment.  I love my boys (all 3 of them) more than my heart can take sometimes.  I love them whether they are here or there or anywhere.  To the moon and back...... that's how much I love them....


Jayden's Mommy said...

I cry as I read this post because that's where I'm. I'm stuck in today I don't plan pass the next week. And I feel Ted that's what I mourn the most is all the milestones our son should have reach by now. All that he is missing. And I know one day he will get to do those things but I want him here now looking at his brother fighting over toys with his two wild sisters. One day we will get pour babies back until then, I'm trying really hard to just enjoy all these precious moments with the girls and Kyle. Thanks.

Jayden's Mommy said...

I forgot to tell you, I love the art specially from books. Love, Kira