Yesterday did not end well for me. Too many “triggers” during the day, plus Ger had to work late so I struggled to then put the kids to bed on my own. I anxiously drew a bath, sat in the water, and cried until my head hurt. Or maybe my head was already hurting. I have a large jacuzzi tub, so by the time I turned off the water, I realized that Quentin was outside of the master bedroom door, sobbing. Our door sticks a bit so neither kid can open it on his own. I opened the door and asked what was wrong, and through his own tears, he said “A piece is missing to the Super Why puzzle.” I assured him we would look for it tomorrow. As I headed back to my bath, I almost had to laugh at his sadness. So different from my own.
As I dried off and put on my pajamas, I heard several noises that told me they had scaled the baby gate at the top of the stairs. I knew they were capable, but it had only happened once or twice – usually they respected the boundary. But sure enough, I came out to find a stool pushed up against the gate to assist in their escape and the room empty. In the kitchen I found that they had opened the pantry door – VERY daring. And interesting since I don’t store any snacks in the pantry: it is just dry pasta, rice, beans, etc. Quentin claimed he was hungry. Well, then you should have eaten more dinner I replied. I shoo’d them back up to their room, telling them that if they ever came out again, other than for going to the bathroom, I would be putting the “baby-lock” back on their door so that they could NOT come out at all.
Today, I came across another one of those “conversations” with a trip to my dentist. It was actually scheduled for a few weeks ago and I rescheduled my cleaning. In the days leading up, I could already hear the question: “Are you wearing your mouth guard?” And could hear my response: “Well I was but then I was pregnant and nauseous so I wasn’t… and now I’m not pregnant anymore but haven’t gotten back into the habit of wearing it.” I was dreading it. I was dreading how I would handle saying it. Arrived today and the hygienist sat me down and made the expected small talk. When I mentioned that I had an errand at my son’s school, she said “Oh – how many kids do you have?” It hit me so hard. I haven’t heard that question since it happened. I whispered “Two.” She then prattled on saying “Oh, I don’t have any kids; I’m happy being an aunt. My sister is due to have a baby in January.” To which I winced at the same month as my due date. I knew it was likely all over at that point. Then when my gums were checked with a hint of gingivitis found, I somehow managed to spit out “Well – I was pregnant recently. 5 months. But I lost the baby. Any chance that is pregnancy gingivitis?” (which I had problems with when I was pregnant with Quentin). Yep, likely pregnancy gingivitis. The tears flowed at that point. We can add “in a dentist’s office” to the list of public places where I have cried. The hygienist rushed through my cleaning. I think she actually skipped a portion of my mouth, but I was grateful to get out of there.
After that I made a quick stop at World Market and bought a skeleton for Theo to put in their room, since he will not stop bugging me about Halloween decorations. He was lucky I was having a moment of weakness.
As we drove home, we were listening to the song “Elements” by Lindsey Stirling. Theo asked me to remind him of the elements, to which I responded “Earth, wind, fire, and water.” Then I continued with “Your middle name is ‘Huab’ which means ‘cloud’ – like wind. And Quentin’s is ‘Teb’ which means ‘earth.'” Theo then said “What about the baby?” I should have figured that his quick little mind would catch that, and I said “Well, her middle name is ‘Dej’ which means ‘water.'” “And can we save the other middle name, in case we need it someday?” he asked. I ignored his question.
Trying to find words for my sorrow yesterday and preparing for our upcoming trip to Wisconsin this weekend, I tripped across this quote from C.S. Lewis, from his book A Grief Observed:
“For in grief nothing “stays put.” One keeps on emerging from a phase, but it always recurs. Round and round. Everything repeats. Am I going in circles, or dare I hope I am on a spiral?
But if a spiral, am I going up or down it?
How often — will it be for always? — how often will the vast emptiness astonish me like a complete novelty and make me say, “I never realized my loss till this moment”? The same leg is cut off time after time.”