I wish I could describe for you the look on his face when we sat in that minivan-I-love-to-hate in the rainy daycare parking lot and told him Little Bug died. Though I know he tried to be strong for me, I saw pain, anger, hurt and confusion all flash across his face before he was able to push it all down and contain it. It was fleeting, maybe four or five seconds tops, but it was a look I will never forget...and had hoped to never see again.
And then we had a conversation during our Mother's Day McDonald's dinner in bed that stopped me cold.* He was explaining to Myles how he's the big brother but how Myles could be a big brother too, "...when mommy has another baby...if she EVER does" (said with a slightly exasperated tone...which...really...I know the feeling kid). I literally stopped breathing for a second or two as the gears turned oh-so-slowly in my head. It was like being doused with a gallon bucket of ice water...you hold your breath and then, after the initial shock passes, shake it off.
Me: "Sam, I'm sorry, but I don't think there are going to be any more babies for mommy."
Sam: "Why not?"
(Hell kid, why don't you just stab me through the heart and get it over with?)
Me: "Because mommy can't take the heartbreak anymore. It's too much...getting all excited for a new baby...and it not happening...no new baby. It makes me too sad."
And THERE...I saw it again...THAT LOOK. Again it flashed across his face and disappeared to someplace I can't go...someplace I'm not allowed. I don't remember this being in any of the parenting books and, truth be told, I'm more than a little afraid of that look. I'm afraid of what it means. I'm afraid because he has the ability to so easily control it..hide it...and continue to eat his cheesburger.
Everyone says he'll be fine. Everyone says we'll all be fine. And I want to scream.
You don't know that. Surely as you didn't know that Alex...or Travis...or Myles...or Little Bug would be fine. You don't know that he'll be FINE! You don't KNOW anything.
In one of those soon-after-the-baby-died (drunken) moments (when you're determined getting pregnant again immediately would be the BEST idea), I sent a Facebook message to my friend Jenne (let me tell you right now, that woman is a genius and I love her), who responded with this...
Quit worrying about what other people think and take a good, hard look at the faces around your dinner table tonight. If you think that everyone there is on board with you and the possibilities - good and bad - then who is anyone to say that you shouldn't try again?Yes, it's time to stop dragging my kids through my own crap. It's time to grow up (finally...at 38 years old) and do what is best for all of us. Sadly, it's time to teach Sam (and Myles) that sometimes you just don't get the perfect fairytale ending. Here's hoping we can still salvage some sort of happily-ever-after anyway.
*McDonald's was requested so that we could avoid sitting in a "nice" restaurant with any new mommies celebrating their first Mother's Day.