Saturday, August 6, 2011

The little things

The box was sitting under the phone table. My friend dropped it off a couple of weeks ago—medium diapers for Elizabeth. I have a set of all-in-ones from another friend that I love, so I haven't bothered to unpack the box yet. Tonight, though, I was putting things away, tidying, clearing spaces in the clutter, so I opened it up.

I was headed to the bathroom to pull the last of the small diapers out of the drawer where they have been tucked in the back.

Good, I thought, now I can freecycle all the smalls . . . visions of clearing out bags and boxes of tiny diapers to make room in the attic and my office faded.

Instead rose the image of me, early spring 2007, my belly big, talking to my friend K., the one who gave me the diapers. Our due dates were weeks apart. Her mom was so excited about her coming grandchild that she bought diapers and covers and more diapers and more covers. We planned to cloth diaper too, but I thought we'd start with a service, see how it went, then maybe buy diapers once the baby was a little bigger. Such hope. Such simple belief that things just work out.

It amazes me sometimes how hard it can hurt all of a sudden, how it can still make me gasp. I sat at my kitchen table sobbing, for Henry not being here, for my rocky entry into motherhood, and not least for that lost hope and innocence.

A diaper, dammit. No birthday or anniversary or missed milestone or thoughtless word. Just a diaper.

Earlier, while puttering about the kitchen making a blueberry cake, I was smiling, feeling like I'm in a good place right now. I've settled into caring for two kids. I've settled into a more comfortable way of talking about being a mama to three. And then I picked up those diapers. The storm has passed now, leaving me just a little tired, but after my cry, I got up, took the cake out of the oven, finished folding the laundry, took a shower. This is where I am right now—3 years, 7 and half months later. I'm in a good place right now. Not a perfect one, but a good one still.


  1. That is how it is. I'm so surprised sometimes by the ordinariness of my grief, how I am heartbroken, but it's woven into my life. And then something insignificant can become so significant, but then, like you I get on with the every day.

  2. We use cloth as well. And 90 per cent of my stash were bought before Hope arrived. And of course she never got to use them, though she was buried in one. Sometimes when I put one of those nappies (diapers) on Angus, I get a little lump in the throat.
    "Such hope. Such simple belief that things just work out."
    That's just it, isn't it?

  3. It shouldn't surprise me any more, but it still does, the little things that bring it all crashing in again. Of course, a diaper.

    Wishing that you had never had to lose that hope and innocence, and sending love.

  4. I so get this. And it's amazing how fiercely it comes up, and suddenly. Sending love your way.

  5. Oh. Oh all that excitement, all that hope, all the anticipation. It just seems completely unbelievable, looking back, that it was ever mine. I'm so sorry that your dear Henry isn't here and I'm sorry it was such a tough introduction to motherhood in so many ways.

  6. It's been 5 yrs and it still catches me off guard. A simple thing like a song, pulls the floor out from underneath me again. Big Hugs xo