Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I parent you still.

I parent you still. 

I'm sure you hear me. Sometimes aloud. More often my inner voice. 

It's quite special to be able to speak to you this way. I never feel alone now. 

Being pregnant was my most favorite thing. Truly, I cannot recall a time in my life that I loved deeper. For several reasons. But the biggest was having that intimate, almost secret bond with my children. It was just ours. Your little kicks, rolls, hiccups. When parts of my day were hard I would place my hand over you and remember that none of that other stuff mattered. Like people say, a job is just a job. Money stresses were nothing to dwell upon. That little miracle growing inside of me, that was what was important. The 3 little kids and partner at home, that was the focus. So whenever things didn't go smoothly in my world I would turn inward. And relish in that mother-child bond I had going on. The private one that pregnancy allows, before the world can witness it and attempt to interfere.

When you died it felt as if that bond was ripped away from me. With no warning literal alarms rang across the floor of that hospital. Announcing it was time for your birth. I birthed you. I sang you happy birthday. I changed your diaper. I whispered to you...I parented you.

In death I parented you. Ensuring a peaceful, painless death that you deserved. How I wish that could have come decades later. I put aside my selfish need for more time with you and walked away. Because it was the right decision for you. As other new parents swaddle and rock their newborns to sleep I planned your burial. Chose the books we would read to you after spreading you ashes among nature's beauty. I parented you.

I bake you cupcakes and sweep up the sprinkles spilled by your sister and brothers off the floor every May 19th. I parent you.

I hang your stocking each Christmas, and sneak down in the morning to fill it with flowers. I buy a little boy somewhere a Christmas gift that I think you would have enjoyed. I parent you.

I answer a seemingly mundane question with my real answer. I have 4 children. I patiently wait as eyes search for the fourth kid. And I bravely and proudly speak of you when asked. I parent you.

I speak to you while on my runs. Ask you for help when you siblings are sick and not breathing well. I keep our relationship in the present tense. I parent you. And it is my honor to do so.

Every day I parent you. It doesn't matter that you aren't visible to the world around me. You have changed the way I breathe. The way I feel. The way I touch. The way I see. The way I live. 

I may have held you just once in my arms, yet forever in my soul. Two plus years out I can tell you that our mother-son bond is not broken. It is greater than death.

I will go on parenting my 4 children. With a smile on my face.