You see, today, 8 years ago, I became a mother.
So last weekend we were looking at all the little angel statues and bear photo frames and cute little baby figurines. We were also hunting out some bargains and generally getting on the with mundane. I scored a bunch of perfectly conditioned gymboree sweaters for Turtle, for a quarter each!
It felt like a normal day, but tense. I noticed that my fuse was very short and I couldn't understand it. I was getting cross with the kids and Rene for silly little things, but there was no reasonable explanation. As far as I was aware, I felt fine. I wasn't hormonal, I got up on the correct side of the bed, I had had my wheetabix. We continued stopping at yard sales and looking through for treasures.
And then I heard myself just melt down. Rene and I had a disagreement about something, I can't remember what. I went silent for a while. My head was just empty. No thoughts at all. It was strange. Silent. Then I heard myself burst into tears. I sobbed and wept and I'm sure it was quite relieving, if I'd have felt it. But I was hovering over myself watching it play out.
I expected to come out with some argument to whatever it was we were fighting about. But I didn't. I heard myself say, "I don't want to buy a bear or an angel or a statue or figurine or a baby for my daughter's 8th birthday. I don't want to buy it in advance to mail it to Scotland. I don't want to make sure it's weather proof. I want to buy a craft kit or an mp3 player or some trendy pajamas and jewelry, and I want to take it home and hide it in the closet until the next morning. I want to stay up late and wrap it at watch her face light up when she opens it. I want her to hug me and say, "thanks mum". I want her to play with it and enjoy it, not for it to sit on a cold stone being rained on. This just sucks."
And I crumbled. And he stopped the car and he held me. I hadn't been aware that I was even feeling this way. I guess it was all tucked up inside. We just cried. And the kids asked questions, and talked about her. And then Rene had a good idea. Why don't we go shop for clothes for an 8 year old girl and then donate them to the homeless shelter.
So we did that. It felt so good to look for clothes for her. I chose styles she'd like, based on her being a Docherty. My kids don't like wearing denim, or anything scratchy. I bet she'd be the same. I chose colors she used to look great wearing, because of her complexion. White, deep purple and green. I chose comfortable, yet trendy. It was so satisfying. Kaya used her money to buy a pretty pink t-shirt to donate on her behalf too.
We donated them today. We also went out to a re-diaper sale/fun day with a bouncy castle and face painting and way.too.much cotton candy. There were balloons and free treats, kids music and lots of our friends. And I pretended the whole thing was her birthday party. That's ok to do, right? It might seem a little crazy, but us bereaved mothers are a little crazy, and we're perfectly allowed to be. So we spent 5 hours at her birthday party today. The kids made bead people and danced and jumped until we all about crashed. And she smiled down. I'm sure she did.
Or God at least did and he knows where she's at in the whole space time continuum, Heaven/paradise, new body, spirit, temporary place or wherever. I'm not sure exactly how it works, but thankfully he does and he's in control and I do know I'll see her again. I'm certain of it.
Meanwhile I will celebrate her birthday. And I will cry on it. And I'll do some less than sane things, like pretend a re-diaper sale is really her birthday party with tons of guests. And I'll remember that day when I pushed her into this world late at night, and I sat and stared at her and could not go to sleep. Because she was perfect and beautiful and I could hardly believe she was really mine. I guess she never really was. None of them really are. I'll remember staring at her tiny tiny face and holding her little hand in mine and memorizing every little detail. The way she'd pucker up her lips, her little lamb like cry, her perfect eyebrows, how she could look across the large hospital room from day one, and focus on objects far away. She was so smart
I'm so proud of her. Happy birthday Peach.