Saturday, August 22, 2009
Today would have been my due date.
This was the baby I was too old for. The one I shouldn't have wanted because we were so far past the "baby" stage of life.
But I did want that little one, even if at first I was afraid. I fell in love with that tiny life in the few weeks I had with it.
And I imagine how different this day could have been: welcoming a small bundle into our almost-entirely grown up family and how it would have changed everything. Oh, it would have rocked our world.
Instead, we went to a wedding of one of our daughters' childhood friends. And we were struck by how quickly the time flew from the girls' first grade until now. It was a blink of an eye.
I know starting all over with a new baby would not have been easy. But I loved those years: the binkies and bottles, the tiaras and slumber parties. And I know now how fast those years pass into the memory books and how precious they are. Maybe this time around I wouldn't have gotten so upset about the toys left out, or the tantrums, or the lumpy sock problems. I'd like to think I'd have been more patient. I would have worried less and enjoyed more.
I would have liked another chance.
Last evening, I took a walk down our country road, which meanders through some woods. I felt restless and confused, and had to clear my head. As darkness fell under the towering oaks, something caught my eyes. A million fireflies appeared in a small clearing, sparkling and dancing just beyond me. They twinkled and shimmered like fanciful stars, and the enchanting scene took my breath away. I stopped to experience the wonder of it.
And I thought of my baby just then. Like a dancing, sparkling little light. So quick, so elusive and so utterly beautiful. It had been a flicker that faded almost as soon as it had sparked, and then it disappeared into the twilight.
I'd caught my breath and held it, those months ago. Enchanted, hopeful, awed at the wonder. And in the end, I had to let it go.
But the beauty of that spark will stay with me forever. Just beyond my reach, but always in my heart.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.