Monday, April 24, 2006

Baby A.

Baby A. died last fall when he was only 4 months old. He would have been one my kids. His parents told me that his gravestone would be placed in the cemetery sometime this spring, and it was there when I looked for it today. Seeing his marker made the emptiness of his death even more tangible.

Whenever I think about Baby A., I think about what he'd be doing in that precise moment. Maybe he'd be eating lunch (he'd be on solids now), maybe he'd be fingerpainting. Maybe he'd be crawling, or clapping his hands, or "reading" a book. At the exact moment I saw his gravestone for the first time, I thought, "He'd be right here in the Baby Bjorn with me, bundled up against the chill." In moments like these, I can almost feel his small, weighty body against mine.

I only met Baby A. once in living flesh, a memorable day in which he pooped on my changing pad and his parents' embarrassment made me smile. But his mother and I corresponded throughout the last several months of her pregnancy and during the first few months of Baby A.'s life, so I had a bird's eye view of his transition from womb to arms. And I made changes, too, anticipating his arrival as surely as his parents: I bought more infant things, talked with my other kids about babies, and worried about configuring my program so I'd meet the needs of all the kids in my care. I spent so much time planning for Baby A.'s care that it's hard now not to imagine what he'd be doing (napping with the other kids, probably, or having a bottle). My grief takes the form of an imaginary baby.

Thankfully, Baby A. is buried in the cemetery a block from my house. I've always gone there with the kids to seek relief from the chaos of the playground and the sameness of the backyard, but now we go to visit Baby A. as well. The kids don't remember anything about him and most days we don't even stop at his grave, but it comforts me to know that all of my children are together.


Anonymous Jenny PP said...

Baby A makes me so sad. I'm glad you can visit though.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Hashbrown said...

This is a beautiful post and tribute to a beautiful child. AJWP, You are truely one of the most amazing people I know.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Psycho Kitty said...

Oh, his poor parents. I have to tell you how much it would mean to me, as a parent, to have someone feel the way you feel about him. You really are amazing, and your kids (and their parents) are so lucky to have you.

11:59 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home