Some days it is easy. As soon as I see their bright eyes and dimple cheeks, I rush to scoop them up into my arms and squeeze them until their body is imprinted into mine. Some days it is as simple as holding a friend’s baby.
But some days it is hard. Some days I look at their faces – yesterday it was Abbie’s – and my heart lurches and stops beating for a brief moment. I see him in her face. I stare at her and no longer see her in focus. I am trapped in that moment of un-reality. He would be her age. He would be cruising my couch, giggling at the keys he waves in his hand, learning how to wave.
But he is not.
HE IS NOT!
And in that moment, I cannot stop the tears. I struggle, but I know it is safe for them to fall right now.
Hurting and gasping, silently and with a smile on my face. I hug her and her mama, loving on them both. Kisses and see-you-soons. I wave goodbye with that floppy teach-a-baby-to-wave motion, then watch them drive away.
Walking into my house, it is quiet. No cooing. No giggling. No crying.
I sit on the couch so afraid to let the tears fall.
I know, in this moment, I may never get them to stop.