I have had a hard time letting go of some of my daughter’s things from her baby and toddlerhood.
I’ve kept so much –filed away school papers, accident reports from Montessori and Community PreSchool, little scribbles that look kind of like happy dust mites.
It’s been so very hard to look at them, though comforting to know they are there.
Mainly because of the many miscarriages we had trying for another child. I knew I would never have those moments with another little being and held onto her tiny things to the point of keeping many more scribbles and school papers than I needed. I just put them in a folder and felt my heart hurt.
I love being her mother. And I have more love and patience inside my heart that really wants to help small people.
I have not been able to take joy in many baby’s births for some time, only within the last year. Each picture I saw was an icepick through my heart. Because I knew a second child was never going to be possible, that time is over.
Because I was angry at how my estranged family treated me at the time. No words of comfort, no visits, nothing.
Because I really wanted to revel in the experience this time–I was so fearful the first time, so worried I’d not know how to be a good parent or she wouldn’t be healthy.
But I’ve had to go through all the saved things as we prepare to move. I opened the saved papers and folders. And I will open them again when we unpack. And I put aside only those things that I could attach meaning to. The funny incident report from school that had everyone except us in an uproar. The first drawings of her family where none of us had bodies, just circles with heads and big smiles. The hearts with I love you mommy written in block letters and the picture of what we would look like if we were our cats and they were our people.
And I have a lot of pictures of her. And I have her…we have her. We have her now. There is plenty of time to remember her babyhood when we are older. I need to be here for her now, not regretting what didn’t come to be.
I’m making room –I don’t need the boiling anger, the debilitating regret or the fear that stops me from finding out how I can use this love inside me. Because once I make that step, I will have let go of my ‘almost but never’ babies. The ones the tears still fall for sometimes.
But I’m making room. I’m ready to be ready. It is the next chapter starting soon.