It’s been a while since I last wrote, mainly because I have an 18-month-old son who has suddenly become a toddler – quite strange given that I’m sure it was only yesterday he was a baby in my arms.
I’ve given myself plenty of space to make sure I have been able to give him everything he needs; my love, time, and attention, and so writing has taken a bit of a back seat. But not just that, I wanted to make sure if I was going to write about baby/toddler/mother stuff that I had enough experience, and reflection, behind me to do so. I think I qualify for that now.
There are loads of things that have cropped up over the last 18 months that I’ve thought would make a good post, but one subject, in particular, has never failed to catapult me straight back to a place of love and loss, instantaneously, a bit like when I close my eyes and see my toddler as a newborn baby in my arms.
The only difference being he is still alive.
This is a tricky one to write because I don’t want to offend anyone who has innocently made this comment so please, if you have, know that beneath my polite smile and silence, I understand that you don’t mean anything by it. This isn’t written with any malice, but more as a mark of respect to my babies, my feelings, and anyone else who might have lost a baby.
Now that I’m eight months pregnant, I hear it a lot more, and of course, why wouldn’t I? Anyone looking at me, will see my son in my arms, my husband by my side, and a baby on the way – why wouldn’t they assume we are a family of soon-to-be four? Why wouldn’t they remark that I’ll have my hands full with baby number two or that it’s different the second time around?
Only it’s not.
My son, the one in my arms, is not baby number one he is baby number three. And this is my fourth time around, not my second. I have two more babies by my side you just can’t see them, and I will never exclude them because my number one and my number two are just as special as my number three and my number four.
We all do it, make assumptions, but sometimes it’s worth pausing for a moment – not everything is what we see in front of us. Sometimes, it’s the things you can’t see that teach us the greatest lessons.