Tiny Sweaters

We’re probably driving up to the Emerald City on Saturday. I am in my usual state of not really wanting to, whereas Mr. Book is really strongly feeling the desire to see the Cricket. The other night, I realized aloud that I have some hand-knitted baby stuff that I made sort of for Cricket that has been packed up for a year and some, and Mr. Book started thinking about what it would be like to have two little boys running around our apartment. “I miss him all the time,” he said. “I think about him every day,” I responded, which is the closest true thing that I can say. I wonder why it’s so different for the two of us.

I’m not sure whether I’m supposed to bring food to this visit; I always have before, but I’ve always had some conversation about it with Ruth beforehand, which hasn’t yet happened this time around. I figure some kind of hostess gifty thing would certainly be in order. Maybe I should bring a dessert? I don’t know what’s going on, but I feel like this year has been me feeling less and less connected to Cricket. Mr. Book doesn’t seem to be having that experience. I still care about him, I still want to do right by him, and I’m still plotting out his next birthday present, but. I honestly wonder whether part of it is because the visits have been so stressful and the relationship with his moms has felt so hard that he’s associated in my head with mostly bad things. It’s not like we’ve had any good times together. That’s an ugly little sentence right there, and hopefully it will be different in the future, but it’s true right now. The last visit was the best one that we’ve had so far, and if in a couple of years we can, I don’t know, go to a children’s museum or something, that could be a good experience. But as it is, if the visits weren’t so stressful, they’d be terribly boring.

I’ve been wondering too about my feelings for him after something that my mom said. She was saying on Sunday that she things that in some ways she thinks I’m much better suited to be a mom than she was—one of the things she mentioned was that she never liked other people’s children. Right now, this year, I love Cricket, but I have certainly loved other people’s children this much. When he was newly born, I was completely in love with him, but that broke me, so I stopped. But it’s been awhile, and it doesn’t seem ideal for me to care about him as much as a little girl I still remember whom I babysat as a teenager, or my parents’ friends toddlers back when my parents had friends with toddlers: Am I morally obligated to try to love him the way I did when I was his mom for real? Maybe not that much, but more than I do now? I think the Mister is having a harder time because he looks at Cricket and sees his son, and I don’t see the same thing when I look at the kid. When I get hints of that connection, I get panicky. Maybe I’d be better equipped to handle that feeling now; does that mean that I need to feel it again?