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Thursday, March 15, 2012

I missed him.

Lola had her first Little Movers and Shakers class yesterday! It was a long time coming as I had Gabe in this very same class as this very same location when he was about 16 months old. Christian had the same right of passage into babyhood at 6 months old. And finally, it was baby girl's turn.

She was shy at first. She didn't understand what was going on and she's younger than most in the class so she doesn't quite get the whole following directions thing. But as soon as she discovered she was required to hop like a bunny, fly like a plane, catapult through a cushioned obstacle course, and run as fast as she could across a gymnastics floor, hop, fly, catapult, and run she did.

Yes, a little girl with pink toe nails got to follow in the foot steps of her brothers.

Her brothers. Watching her tumbling through the obstacle course made me think of them. Mostly Christian, though, just due to the amount of time that has passed since Gabe attended - a mere 12 years - and, of course, obvious circumstances.

I couldn't control it. It was a mixture of nostalgic feelings any mother would have of her child when he was a baby, doing baby things and hitting baby milestones. But there were also feelings of longing and sadness. Feelings of wanting that baby back and wondering where he went.

Wasn't he just learning to crawl on that very gymnastic floor? Where did he go? Wait! I'm here. I'm in this place and I'm missing him without a choice in the matter. How did this happen? Where did that baby go?

And all of these thoughts raced through my mind at the same time with urgency. I actually thought - Wait! - as if the thoughts and memories would leave too soon before I had a chance to catch them and hold on to them with all my might.

He was just learning how to crawl. He was timid watching the older kids speeding past him. He wasn't the baby that clobbered all the other babies, attacking toys and snatching them away. He sat back and observed. And with each class he bravely moved forward into crawling territory and gained confidence in his babyhood, grabbing toys and working through the obstacle course.

Memories can be stifled for a while but they find there way back, those sneaky things. Sometimes just trickling in and sometimes like a crescendo. All at once with no room for breath.

Just as soon as I was in that place - that mixed feeling of longing and memories and wanting it all back - my eyes watered. I blinked and she was there with her pink toenails ready to show me her next move on that very same obstacle course. She deserves this alone time with me and she deserves me present. So we continued and it was awesome to watch her in the middle of the multicolored parachute. Just like her brothers. And it's so important that this becomes her thing. Her time. So that's what we'll do.

But I missed him for a second.

Be still my heart.


Sarah M. said...

Lots and lots of love your way! Embracing your past is as important as embracing your future. Learning to accept and love is admirable, not always easy, and worth every bit of time spent doing those two things- accepting, and loving.

ferfischer said...

I know what you mean - sneaky memories - and I know just what you mean about wanting to grab them and relish them while they are in your memory before they disappear again. No room for breath indeed - they catch me when I least expect it.

Anonymous said...

oh shauna, I know just posting those pictures was hard. so true, the memories sneak up on you when you least expect it. and you feel so alone in your grief. so thanks for sharing these thoughts. you're obviously a great mom and your kids ate lucky, all of them. they will grow up and come to understand and really respect your strength. - Martha

everythingieverwanted said...

You do such a good job of sharing what is in your heart. It is obvious to anyone who reads this blog that you love Christian. He is your son and you love him, just the way he is. However, you would not be human if you didn't mourn what he (and you) lost that fateful day. Thank you for sharing these pictures with us. They are a part of who Christian is and a part of his history. You are a beautiful writer and your story has touched many. Thank you.....

Eliisa said...

Love you so much. And Christian. This post made me tear up...

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