Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Today, was a small step towards healing, and a giant leap for yours truly.
You remember my Baby Stalking post, right? Well, it finally caught up with me.
I ended up going to the gym today by myself. Joseph was kind enough to stay home with the kids so I could have some quiet, unrushed "me" time. He knows the rest of my week will be rough, as he is leaving with the Marines until Sunday night. So, I really did appreciate the gesture. Praise the Lord for small miracles!
I did really good at the gym today. I ran 2.5 miles on the treadmill and worked out with one of the personal trainers. Needless to say, when I was leaving the gym, I didn't look or smell my best. I hopped in my Expedition and headed to Food City (I needed to return movies we rented) where I was hoping to slip in and out of the store quickly and inconspicuously. Of course, that didn't quite go as planned.
As I was walking in the store, I saw a man standing outside holding a baby girl. She looked like she was about Wyatt's age and I wanted to walk over and "oohh" and "aahh" over the little sweetheart and find out how old she was... but I didn't. I walked into the store, put the movies in the appropriate bin, and headed for the car. I'm improving right!?
As I walked out of the door, the guy was still there holding the little girl and she was fussing like you wouldn't believe. I just had to walk over.
My first question to him was, of course, how old she was. I was right, she was exactly one week younger than Wyatt would have been today. I talked with the guy a little while and to my surprise (and horror) he asked me if I wanted to hold her! I didn't know people actually let complete strangers hold their babies... I was completely caught off guard!
You won't believe me, but I actually turned him down the first time. I said, "I would love to, but I just got back from the gym..." All this time I'm freaking out over what it would be like to hold a baby for the first time since Wyatt. I didn't know if I was ready.
But he said, " Oh, are you sure... here I really don't mind", as he's practically handing his child to me. I mean, how do you say no to that?
The guy told me that she was a fussy baby, but as soon as he handed her to me, she stopped crying. I looked down into her little eyes and she stared back into mine. I snuggled on her a bit and she just smiled at me and cooed so sweetly. It was heartbreaking and wonderful all at the same time. I would give anything in the world to see my Wyatt staring back into my eyes and curling his lips into a precious little smile...
Then, I blew it. I started crying. The guy was looking at me like "Oh my God, I handed my daughter to a crazy lady that is going to take off running with my baby at any minute" (I might have attempted to make a run for it if I hadn't spent so long on the treadmill today). Ha ha. No-No. I handed "B" back to her father and apologized. He looked confused, so I told him that I had a son who would be a week older than his daughter... I explained this was my first time holding a baby since my son passed away and that I was sorry for not holding myself together. I tried to make a quick exit before completely losing it, so I told him how wonderful it was to hold his precious little girl, and to enjoy every second he got with her.
Through the blur of tears, I somehow made my way back to my car. Once inside, I lost it. Of course, I parked next to one of the cart returns, where one of the kids that worked at the grocery store was gathering carts... I'm sitting in the driver seat of my car bawling, and the poor kid is looking at me like "Can it really be that bad?". So embarrassing. I hate crying around other people, but I really couldn't help it this time. I can't explain how many different emotions I was feeling all at once. It was wonderful to feel the weight of a baby in my arms... To feel her warmth... To look into her bright blue eyes and see the innocence in her smile. I was overflowing with Joy.
On the other hand, I feel like my heart broke all over again. Holding her was a reminder of what Wyatt should be here doing right now. I should have already seen his first smile. I should know what his voice sounds like. I should know what color his eyes are...
I didn't think I was ready to rip that particular band-aid off, but God had other ideas. I'm glad I held that baby girl today. As I drove home, I thanked God for her little life, and asked God to protect her as she grows up. She was a blessing to me today. I have a couple of friends up here that are due with boys soon, and I was really nervous about going to visit them in the hospital... I still think it will be hard, but at least now I know I can handle it. Isn't it true what they say about the first step being the hardest? I whole heartedly believe that, and I feel like I took a huge leap in the right direction today.