Momma's been beating herself up quite a bit these last few days. For a lot of different, but related reasons.
First, there has been The Baby Shower Question. We're just about to start our third trimester, and The Bean will be here before we know it. According to traditional "Emily Post" etiquette, one simply doesn't have a baby shower after your first child. But, with all due respect to Ms. Post, she has failed to address situations like ours. There is no etiquette guide, no "right way" to welcome this new baby into the world. This tiny, active little Bean who kicks Momma with such regularity and force I can't help but rub my tummy and talk to him as if he's already here. This Bean who is providing our family with a sense of hope, of a future that holds happiness. This Bean who deserves celebration. This Bean, who will have his own baby shower, despite the critics, the skeptics and those who choose to judge.
Which brings me to the second issue. With the decision to have a baby shower, comes the need to create a registry. Which means the requisite trip to Babies 'R' Us. Momma hasn't stepped foot in that store since before you died. My last trip in there was to buy a few Christmas gifts for you. My last visit to their website, captured in my "items recently viewed" area, includes all the toys I was considering as gifts for you. I assumed this trip would be unbearable. That the thought of creating a new baby registry would bring me to my knees. Peanut, we gave so much of your "baby stuff" away to charity since Dadda and I didn't plan on more children. And now...we need to replace it. But, surprisingly enough, the trip turned out to be an almost joyful event. Dadda came with me, and we revisited many old, happy memories. We picked out items for The Bean based on what you did or didn't like. We chose items similar to, but not duplicates of, what you loved most. We remembered the joy and anxiety of anticipating your arrival. And, for the first time, I allowed myself to truly embrace the love and excitement I already feel towards The Bean. And, I felt guilty...almost as if I were betraying you.
And this brings me to my final issue. Peanut, I've forgotten something. Try as I might, I simply cannot remember the last morning I took you to daycare. I can't remember what you were wearing. If it was an "easy" drop off day, or one where you cried as I walked out the door. I can't remember hugging you or kissing you good-bye. Did I sit in the parking lot and watch you through the classroom window, like I did some mornings? I so desperately want to remember. But...it just isn't there. How can that be???
Peanut, I've had to comes to terms with the fact that I cannot and will not be able to remember every single detail of every day we had with you. But, I've also learned to be surprised and overjoyed by the memories that pop up when I least expect them. There is no rule book for grieving over you, or celebrating your little brother. There is simply the guiding principle of doing what feels right in the spirit of love. Love for you, love for The Bean, love for our families and friends, love for all who support us through prayers and kind words. And that, my Peanut, is the core - the foundation - of your Peanut Effect.
I love you. I miss you. I miss you. I miss you. To the moon and back.