Well, I rung in the new year with friends, lots, and wine, lots more and then spent most of the night trying to comfort my 10 year old son who for some reason, that night/early morning decided to "let it all out". Wish I could blame the alcohol but since he hasn't started drinking yet, and I was the listener not the talker, it seems these were the "real deal" emotions, ones that he's been carrying around since September 1, and they had finally found their way out.
I don't want to blame everything on my 16 year old cat, you know the one, the peeing and other things one, but it is mostly her fault. Well, not really, but since she has been my emotional dumping ground, I figure what's one more thing. My son asked if she was going to die soon and in my stupid, slightly "affected" state of mind, I let it out that I'd probably have to "take her in" in the next couple of days, seeing as how we have had to resort to locking her in a bathroom for most of her life in order to preserve our carpet, floors, beds, furniture and mostly my sanity (Not necessarily in that order). And to illustrate the point. I just let her our of her new digs b/c I felt bad writing this and now had to stop writing to clean up the pee she just did, right in front of me, right next to the litter box. On the wood floor. Jesus.
For background purposes, (I know your not reading this blog to hear about my cat so I apologize again and again for bringing her up, but you should know too, I have three more so be prepared. I am never short on cat stories) this is a cat that for years never let my kids near her. She never really let anyone near her. She has been a hissy bitch her whole life. It's just who she is. I never apologized for it. She was abused, I adopted her, and she fell in love with my other beloved, Hennessy cat and made him happy and that was all that mattered. She was always good to him and me but anyone else had to be warned about her "quirky" behavior of letting you pet her and then she would go all "Linda Blair", hissing and spitting and would hit, bite and scratch, a LOT. I swear both my kids learned how to say "ouch" because of her. Okay, so back to the story...WAKE UP...so neither of my kids were particularly fond of her and when Hennessy died, the cat they really liked, we adopted two more because we didn't want our kids to grow up with a pet they were afraid of and figured she would go fairly soon after him as they were only three years apart in age. Yeah, that was 5 years ago. So now, in the last year or so, she's gotten nicer, to the point of actually coming out and sitting with people when they come over and sleeping on the kids beds, and letting the kids pet her and then LICKING them when they do. Which is all well and good, I am happy, really happy that they got to love her, that she let them love her and well, you know, that after being abused and all, after 16 years she finally felt safe. But in the last year, she went from 20lbs to 4lbs. No, that is not a typo, she weighs 4(four) lbs. I've taken her to the vet, they don't know what's wrong, she eats, all the time and she just is losing weight, losing her fur, her bowels etc. . .she is dying, slowly, too slowly, so, now I have to kill her or watch her disintegrate before my eyes. Nice.
And that's where my son comes in. Remember him , the one I started to write about? This is really about him, not the cat, but now you can see why I think it's the cat's fault. He asks me about the cat, I tell him. He starts sobbing, shaking. We were lying on his bed talking at the time and he just rolled over on his side and curled up and everything came out. The only thing that I can compare it to was the way I cried when Caleb was born/died. Right at that moment. The crying that is so deep, so huge, so totally uncontrollable that you don't even know where it comes from or when it will stop. And my 10 year old son was doing it. Not me. Him. I just rolled over and held him as tight as I could, and as quietly as I could, I cried with him. And we stayed that way for, I don't even know, 15 minutes, a half an hour...does it matter? My baby, my little baby boy, was hurting in a way I knew I would never, ever, in a million lifetimes, be able to fix. He hurt how I was hurting but he's only 10. 10 year olds should not have to ask, "Why, why mommy, why?" 10 year olds should not, ever, have to say, "I never want to get my hopes up again, it hurts too much when everything goes wrong." 10 year olds should never have to say, "Everything that's good always turns bad", 10 year olds should never have to say, "Don't tell me if you get pregnant again, I don't want to know, just surprise me with a baby.". 10 year olds should not spend the first hours of a new year lying in bed, crying to their mother about the unbelievably cruel world that steals away a child yet to born, steals away a child's innocence and steals away the promise of a lifetime filled with hope. Mine did. Happy F*ing New Year.
I suppose I could end there and leave it just like that. It sucks, as we all have come to say. It just so sucks. And it does. And it is what I have left or it is what I am now. I don't know. I can not believe that for the rest of my life this is what I will have. How can a conversation, a wish, a hope a dream, between my husband and I nearly two years ago have turned into this nightmare??? One night of "fun" without thought turned into a "Hey, why not, let's go for it! One more, three would be an adventure." And it has been, but nothing at all like we thought. "Three" has introduced our children into a lifetime that most of the world never knows. A lifetime where people turn away when you talk about it, a lifetime where most will never know why you are the way you are, or why you worry, why you KNOW things can go oh, so terribly wrong, for no reason.
And still, I want to try again. I do not want my Caleb to have this legacy. I want his legacy to be one of perseverance, of belief, of hope. Which is why we chose his name. (Another blog). I do not want my son, or my daughter to associate a new baby or a pregnancy with sadness. I do not want them to believe that every chance for life brings death. I want to believe and I want them to believe, that something good, something better, can happen either because of Caleb or despite his death. I do not want for this to be the end. I do not want to walk, crawl, or wither out of my "baby days" with this as the exclamation point. I want to believe in something new. I want to hope. I want my kids to have hope, more than anything on this earth, I want my kids to have that.
And that is what I told my dh, when I said I want another baby. And he said NO. He said, "Enough". He said, "I don't want anymore babies." I said, "You don't want anymore tragedy. You would still love another baby." He was quiet. I let it go, we didn't speak of it again. This was in October. In November, I emailed this to him:
A different child,
There's a special glow around you.
Surrounded by love,
Never doubting you are wanted;
Only look at the pride and joy
In your mother and father's eyes.
And if sometimes
Between the smiles
There's a trace of tears,
You'll understand there was once another child
A different child
Who was in their hopes and dreams.
That child will never outgrow the baby clothes
That child will never keep them up at night
In fact, that child will never be any trouble at all.
Except sometimes, in a silent moment,
When mother and father miss so much
That different child.
May hope and love wrap you warmly
And may you learn the lesson forever
How infinitely precious
How infinitely fragile
Is this life on earth.
One day, as a young man or woman
You may see another mother's tears
Another father's silent grief
Then you, and you alone
And offer the greatest comfort.
When all hope seems lost,
You will tell them
With great compassion,
"I know how you feel.
I'm only here
because my parents were
Brave enough to try again."
He wrote back, "I love you."
In December, without ever talking about, we tried. It wasn't the all out let's get preggo try, but it wasn't the "I don't want to get you pregnant again" either, and there is a huge difference....if you know what I mean. So for now, I guess, we are quietly trying, and I am silently hoping, well, I don't know what I am silently hoping for, but for now, at least, I am hoping. A little.
Did I mention that our other cat, is in heat???? Yeah, God is still laughing at me....but sometimes, when I feel really brave, I laugh back, a little.
And that is how we began our New Year....