Monday, December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas?

The past few days have been a little rough. There are dozens of reasons for it, but knowing what the reasons are did little to help me through.

I cried for the longest time last night because I happened to glance at a part of the room - the corner table where sits a small stack of wrapped presents for my Roo. Seeing those gifts, cheerfully packaged and tied with shiny ribbon - just killed me. It was like Thanksgiving, I suppose, in that it hit me fully just then that although I had a baby in July, I won't be spending this important holiday with her. Her first Christmas. I thought this Christmas would be special because I'd celebrate it with my sweet baby. Instead, it's special, in a different, sadder way, because I will be spending it without her.

Oh, I had such hopes, such plans. I pictured bringing her to family parties and enjoying seeing everyone fuss over Roo - how sweet and pretty she is, how calm and happy and clever. They would fight over who got to hold her and do silly little things to make her smile. But she'd save her biggest smiles for me, because I would be Mommy.

I pictured watching her lovely eyes grow wide as she saw the lights and decorations on the tree - watching her stretch out a chubby hand to touch, to grab. I was going to take her to see the Christmas lights at the temple. Let her chew on the soft plastic baby-safe nativity I'd been saving just for her. Sing Christmas carols and songs and listen to her try to sing along in the sweet, perfect way that babies do. I had special Christmas jammies picked out. I could see in my mind the pictures from Christmas morning - her on my lap, crinkling gift wrap in her tiny fists and delighting in the sound and feel, me sprinkling kisses on her soft cheeks and being more interested in the gift I got in July than any I got that morning. Me opening the toys I picked out for her, showing her the bright colors and lights and sounds. Then the excitement would prove too much for her, and after a little snack she'd fall asleep, and maybe I'd nap a little too, and my mother would take a picture of the two of us sleeping side by side, a precious and lovely Christmas tableau.

I can picture it all in my mind as clearly as though it all happened for real, and I find myself mourning the loss of that idyllic and cheerful morning. Seeing Roo's presents on a table - ready to be loaded into the car for the next visit instead of under our little tree - sort of hammered into my brain exactly how hard Friday is going to be - and exactly how sweet it won't be.

The presents are things I had in my mind for her when she was still mine. Those, at least, are the same in both realities. But in this reality, I won't unwrap them or get them out. I don't even know if P and M will like them. Or if they already have them from then Roo's big sister was Roo's age. Part of me thought, there's no point in buying gifts for Roo now that she's theirs. She has everything she could possibly need, and it's not as though I'll get to see her enjoy them.

But I love her. I love her so much! How could I not get her a few things? I got a refund check I hadn't been expecting and as soon as I saw it, I knew it would be my Roo Money. I spent it all on her. Roo is the only one I bought gifts for this year. Perhaps it's a strange sort of selfishness on my part, but she's the only one whose Christmas morning feelings are really and truly important to me. Everyone else can handle themselves. I want Roo's first Christmas to be special, even though it means I'm not there with her for it.

Roo is worth every tear I've shed, every hour I've been unable to fall asleep from an overload of emotions, every minute I've sobbed and suffered. She is worth it a million times over.

I miss her so much.


Lara Zierke said...

Goodness, Jill, I shouldn't read your blog at work because I just cry. It is more than obvious how much you love your little Roo and how noble you are.

I can now imagine how our birth family will be hurting on Friday. On the flip side, this was the first time in our nine married Christmases that my husband and I got to hang three stockings instead of two. We both cried and laughed. I like how you put it - this Christmas morning we'll be much more obsessed with the gift we got last April than the gifts we'll get that morning.

As always, thanks for sharing.

Other Mother said...

I just placed my baby boy in November and I have a feeling the holidays are forever going to be different. It hits me, that sorrow, randomly. Like the other night I was staring at the Christmas tree all lit up and remembering back to when I was a little girl and how magical everything was and it occurred to me how much I wish I could share in that magic with my baby boy. I bought him a hoodie, a tiny hoodie so he'll be warm, and his first Christmas tree ornament. Thank you for sharing.