Sunday, June 6, 2010


Henry would be three.

This fact, this three-ness is hitting me in a way two and one didn't. Until now, I simply noticed he was gone. I thought of him as he was when I knew him last, not as he would have been if he had stayed.

I have always been surrounded by babies Henry’s age. There seemed to be a big crop of babies in spring 2007 among people I knew. I see many of these babies often, and while they sometimes reminded me that Henry should be there with them, I didn’t necessarily think, “Oh, look what Henry would be doing now.” I had expected him to be a bit behind in many milestones, even before his long hospitalization. During his short life, I didn’t compare him to others. After he died, I didn’t expect him to have been doing what his peers were doing.

And then, this spring, I saw pictures and heard stories of two kids from the baby group I took him too. I saw a little girl at an egg hunt. I heard about a little boy’s potty training and preschool open house—and suddenly I saw three.

Maybe it is the increasing distance from Henry that allows me to see not just who he was, but who he might have been.

Maybe it is watching Kathleen at 18 months—talking, walking, climbing, pushing, eating, smiling, laughing—and seeing what I missed with Henry that makes what he didn’t do, won’t ever do clearer to me know.

I don’t know. I just know that he would be three and that means something very different to me than he would be two did and he would be one did. He wouldn’t be a baby. He’d be a little boy.

He would be three. 


  1. I was about to say, before I read, that three is not a baby anymore. It is a big boy. You lost a baby, so it is no wonder you can't really imagine three.
    I don't often imagine Hope as an almost two year old. Sometimes I even find myself thinking of her as Angus' little sister, not his big sister as she will always be the baby of the family, despite also always being the first born. The big girl.
    I too am surrounded by babies (kids?) her age. I just really can't imagine what that would be like, and I think that is because Angus is still such a baby. He's not doing any of those toddler things yet, and far from it, so I am just sort of so caught up in what he's doing and all of his babyness. Having an almost two year old is such a foreign concept to me, even though that is exactly what I'm supposed to have.
    Thinking of you, Sara. Thinking of Henry.

  2. I'm still getting used to the "Look what Dot is doing" excitement followed by the "look what I missed with her brother" aches. And three is different, somehow, you're absolutely right. I can only imagine how it might hit at three.

    Thinking of you and Henry, and sending love.

  3. Strange how three can seem almost unbelievably grown up. As you say, a little boy. Not a baby any more.

    I tend to think of my G in the context of her twin sister. In a strange way, she does get older and yet, she remains a baby. Or even less than a baby.

    Thinking of you and your little boy, Henry. xo

  4. oh my. i hate living without them forever. it's funny - i never really picture angel as a baby baby, mostly b/c i don't have a ton of experience with babies. but i do tend to imagine her as a two or three year old. don't know why, but i think their personalities really come out then. i can see why three would hit you so hard. thinking of you. xo

  5. Three is a big number. Remembering your sweet boy.