I have a NYC trip coming up in a week with just my daughters and I, and I really can’t wait. I managed to score a long puffer coat with a hood for $2.34 on Black Friday (there were 3 discounts on the coat, it should have cost me $16 on an originally $80 price, but they charged me wrong. When I went back to get the receipt adjusted, they still did the discounts wrong so they ended up refunding me all but $2.34 somehow.) It’s going to be cold, and possibly raining, so I am glad I found this coat. I am very excited because I don’t get much time with just my girls. It’s hard to find things in common to do together where we don’t have to include little kids.
The holidays this year have made me feel some sort of way. I have this overwhelming sense of loss and emptiness that has felt like a gaping hole. It’s more than just my recent loss, or the sadness that floats to the surface more this time of year. Things just haven’t felt quite right. Normally by now I have been listening to Christmas music nonstop for weeks, I have started shopping, I have a plan. And this year I’m half-hearted in it all. It doesn’t help that everywhere you turn there is that expectation to be “thankful, grateful, blessed” (I HATE that overused “blessed”. It’s just so...UGH.) and to have candy canes shooting out from your ass all season long. It makes it so much more difficult to admit you are struggling.
But Mel (stirrup-queens.com since my linky think won’t work either) had a post yesterday about loss and it put into words what I haven’t been able to explain, but it also made me think, to really take a look at what I am feeling. And I apologize if this gets sappy but I think my period is trying to come back and I am getting teary just typing this.
So my oldest daughter turned 18 this year. And she is a senior, and she is working, and I don’t have her around as much. She isn’t at dinner with us most nights. Her littlest siblings miss her so damn much, because of her hours they might see her before bed but not always. She doesn’t have free reign to come and go as she pleases, but she has some leeway so long as I know where she is and about when to expect her home. Friday they were off school. My other 2 spent Thanksgiving night at my moms with my sister and her family. It was me and the little boys. I knew she had plans, but she went to leave suuuuper early, and I questioned when I noticed Toddler boy asking for her. I got upset because sometimes it seems like “anywhere but here” is where she would rather be. And I KNOW it’s part of growing up but MAN does it suck for my mama heart. So I tried to point out that taking a few minutes to be with her siblings before she left would go a long way for all of us, and she made a comment about how she wouldn’t even be living at home much longer (when she enlists) and I don’t know it all just kind of hit me. Between what she said and all the school emails about graduation gowns and dates, and filling out the 2019 calendar where I came to April/May. And I sort of had a weird come to Jesus moment where it all just clicked.
That baby I was briefly pregnant with would have been something physical to hold onto and nurture and love when the rest of my world was spinning out of control, where a part of my heart was going to physically break off and go out into the world alone, without me. And the realization that my time of being an influence, of making a difference, of shaping her, was pretty much done. For better or worse. And that I have no clue how to do this part of parenthood. I know the baby part, that’s what I know I am good at. What if the rest of it I sucked at?
So my pregnancy loss was leaving more than a baby-shaped hole in my heart. It was something that was going to help me stay grounded and get through this huge letting go that is going to have to happen. And without it, I am floating around lost. Closing the door on so many things. The holidays just have a way to bring all of this out and to the surface. This trip to NYC is going to be special in so many ways. I hope it also offers some healing and acceptance as well.