These posts are sooooooooooo depressing.
Anyway, here's another pick-me-up.
For the past few months I have had this agonizing little thought in my head about my daughter turning 5. I have never talked about it to anyone but for some reason it is really hitting me hard. Both of my children are "kids" now, nothing babyish about them anymore. Sure, Alyssa still has some things that linger...she is still learning lots of basics, still says some words incorrectly, etc, but really, the baby days, toddler days and soon to be pre-school days are gone. Soon she will be in kindergarten.
After Joe and I had Alyssa we pretty much thought we were done having kids. At some point Joe started to make comments that **maybe** he wanted more. I told him that I was 98% sure that I wanted to be all done having babies, I told him he had 2% to make his case. The way I felt about it was that I really did not want to ever be pregnant again, but, I would love to have a bigger family and so maybe, just maybe I might be coaxed into it.....but really it was a longshot.
That was as far as we got. Then he died.
I honestly don't know what would have happened if he was still here. Would I have another baby? Would I be pregnant again? I know that if Joe really, really, REALLY wanted to have another baby I would have gone through with it. I know that because there is nothing that I would not do for him. I know that another baby would have been a huge sacrifice and a lot of work for us (and by "us" I mean, mostly me), but in the long run it would be completely worth it. Because, children and family are a beautiful thing.
So back to Alyssa turning 5.....It is sad for me in way because I know that one part of my life is over. I suppose every woman goes through something similar, and many women's choices about when to stop having children are taken away from them for all different types of reasons. It just sucks to think about.
And the bigger issue for me is that I feel like I just missed 2 years of Alyssa's life. Yes, I was here with her the whole time, but I was so far away. Unable to find it in myself to be present in a way that I would have been if Joe had not died. I feel like yesterday she was 3 and we had our family and she was my baby. And now she is 5, going to school and the last two years are a fog. I hate it.
My relationship with my children has changed over the past 2 years. I have spent most of that time in what feels like an all-business mentality, constantly working on the necessities of their lives. Making sure they had opportunities to have fun, with other people, but rarely with me. I hate that.
My kids and I have certain rituals, silly little things that we do as only the three of us when we are alone. Things that no one would know about except the three of us. Those things have an element of fear for me now. What if something were to happen to me and those rituals turn to painful thoughts for them? Into more empty voids in their lives? It sounds completely insane and crazy but I've seen it happen. Joe used to go up to say goodnight to Luke after I did every night. As Joe was leaving his room he would say "I love you" to Luke. After Luke said it back to him, Joe would make a silly noise as he was walking down the hall. Luke would laugh. Every night. Every night they would do this. Every night since Joe died when I leave Luke's room after saying goodnight to him I feel that void and my heart aches for my son. I know he remembers. And I know it's the little things that hurt the most. I hate that.
I know you can't stop living for fear of what might happen. But after you suffer a tragedy, the thought seems to be always there. The knowledge of what could happen and how it would feel. I hate it that I know what that's like.