Right now, we have no visit scheduled; our agreement calls for one visit per year, but I would not be shocked if there was no 2013 visit. Therefore, while I am still open to thinking about how to handle possible future visits, right now I’ve started to do a different kind of work.
When Joey was born, I was overwhelmingly, heart-meltingly in love with him. In hindsight, I can see that he was a high-needs baby—but I was and have continued to be just crazy about him. It took me longer to warm up to Kit—postpartum depression can do that to a gal—but I’m just so over the moon for my cheeky ginger baby. At night, after I put the boys to bed, Mr. Book and I collapse with gratitude that they’re both asleep . . . and then we talk about how great they are.
I’ve written before about how different my feelings for Cricket are—and I’d be fooling myself if I didn’t think it was evident in just about everything I write. From the very beginning, my feelings for him have been tangled up with fear and grief; I realized before he could crawl that loving him like a mother was overwhelming me, and that I was losing my mind. The onblog conversation (and a couple that I’ve had elsewhere) has helped me to decide that it’s wrong for me to see that decision as static. Bite by bite, I am pushing myself to open my heart to him.
At least right now, I can’t have the same feelings for Cricket that I do for his brothers—it is still just too hard to completely, helplessly adore a son I don’t see and don’t hear from—a son I barely know. But I can love him more, and more openly. My love right now is so careful: I wrote letters; I send pictures; I worry. I can let myself be less careful. I’m praying for that change, and stretching myself to create it.
As part of that, I’m going to write something about Cricket right now.
Cricket is a bright-eyed, wildly creative kid. I can’t believe how much he looks like my husband and like his brothers—that is to say, adorable. I wish that I could take him to lunch; every once in awhile, Nora will post a picture of the two of them at a restaurant, and that’s exactly the sort of thing I want to do with my kids. I even know where I’d like to take him: a juice place downtown that has excellent cookies and sandwiches. Or maybe a diner that’s on the same block. I want to play music and go for a walk and listen to him. On that last visit, the best time I had was just listening to him and asking about what he was telling me. I want to dress up and pull out the LEGO and bake something together. When I let myself feel it, I miss him so much. He’s a mix of bossy and shy that is very familiar, and I just wish that I could listen to him.
Okay. Getting weepy, stopping here.