We spent yesterday and today at Legoland. On the drive down, I kept flashing back to our first visit, at the tail end of my four weeks of first trimester bleeding. Steve had work in San Diego so Ada and I spent a day touring the park. She had a blast while I fought nausea and concern. Almost a year later, with her daddy firmly in tow, she rode everything twice while I watched and smiled, delighted by her enthusiasm and the size of her grin.
Three moments stand out from the last two days. Three moments that remind me I am still healing.
We were standing in line at one of the rides, laughing at the shrieks as water sprayed, witnessing parents and children having their different experiences. Suddenly the world slowed as I watched a boy of around 7 get in and lean back against his father. Their level of comfort with each other, the way his father crossed his arms over the boy’s chest, the way the boy wrapped his hands around his father’s arms…the connection and ease between them reached deep into my heart. Tears streamed down my face. Steve looked at me and knew – he’d seen it too. It was the most beautiful, tender, private moment in the middle of this noisy, public place, and it broke my heart.
I had a brief conversation with a young-ish mom about her kids. I had been trying to figure out the age difference between two of them as one seemed only slightly bigger than the other. They were twins and her oldest was 3. You have your hands full, I laughed. Yes I do. I stood there looking after her and thought, when did I become that person? The one who says inane things that are probably at the top of the list of what not to say to a mom of twins? Maybe it was the result of seeing so many children in one place, so many pregnant women, so many reminders of what my life is not. Maybe in trying to keep the hurt at bay, it crossed wires in my brain. Maybe I need to remember to keep my mouth shut.
We walked past a family today – three children under 6 and an obviously pregnant mom. As we passed, she said something about wanting to ride the roller coaster, after mommy has the baby. The flash of anger took me by surprise. I wanted to scream at her, How dare you? How dare you have four children when I can’t even have two, you irresponsible cow? Then it was gone. Almost seven months out and I’m finally pissed off.
I was thinking of these moments in the shower just now, feeling the weight of my sadness. Toweling off, I couldn’t look at my body without crying – at the heaviness of it, the red welt where the doctors opened me up, the breasts that should be full of milk. Tonight loss is a physical presence, sitting on my right in this anonymous hotel room.
Hello old friend. Pull up a chair. Have a drink. Tell me what you’ve come to say.