My son went trick or treating for the first time Monday night, and somehow within that short hour or so span I was reminded just how quickly his childhood is moving. Watching him in all his excitement, yelling “trick or treat” over and over as soon as his hand left mine at the top of each driveway, running way too fast down each driveway and up each step, I found myself half filled with joy and half filled with sadness. Will it be this delightfully exciting for him next year? Will his costume be as adorably innocent? Will he be as eager and enthusiastic to show me each and every piece of candy he gets at each and every house? Maybe so, but a larger part of me thinks no. I think the excitement will always be there – I mean how can it not be with free candy in the picture? The expectations will be there though and at some point having his mom and dad waiting at the top of each driveway might kind of annoy him. Not to mention this is probably the last year I’ll get to choose his costume – although he wholeheartedly agreed to dressing up as the man with the yellow hat from Curious George, most likely next year it’ll be something a little more “modern”. If I had it my way, he’d be old-school PBS characters forever. It’s amazing the thoughts and feelings one can have just witnessing something as simple as the act of trick or treating.
Along with all these thoughts and feelings came the harsh realization that I have not been living in the present lately. I’ve been trapped in a fog of sadness, worry, impatience and even a little anger, all the while missing out on precious moments of time. About a month ago I went through a miscarriage and during this time my husband and I found out that it may be too risky for us to have any more children. This news blindsided us and in a way turned our worlds upside down. It was devastating to hear and I took it in and let it run my life, focusing on the negative and nothing else. As if the miscarriage wasn’t hard enough, we now had this to contend with. Why us? Why me? I’ve let these questions plague me for the past month and in turn my attitude, my mood and my lifestyle have all been affected. I’ve been okay on the outside but inside has been a bit tumultuous. I just haven’t felt good. It’s been a long, drawn-out process and I unfortunately couldn’t just pop back up from it, like some people seem to do. But when it comes down to it, I needed this time to mourn. I needed this time to be sad and angry. I needed this time to self-indulge and not give a you know what about eating right or making sure I got that treadmill workout in. I needed this time to feel all the feels and process everything. But at some point I know I can’t live in this place forever. I have to accept the hand I’m dealt and move forward.
Watching my sweet son and his friends running, giggling and screaming with excitement this past Halloween reminded me that the time to do that is probably now. This baby of mine has already gone from a toddler to a little boy in a short moment’s worth of time. Soon that little boy will turn into a bigger boy and then a tween and then a teen and then before I know it he’ll be leaving the house and then what? It absolutely breaks my heart to think that far ahead. I want to freeze him right here and right now. I feel like I need at least 6 more kids and then maybe by the time the last one leaves I’d actually be okay with it. But that probably won’t be the case. Age and health issues aside, I don’t think my husband would go for that many. So what else is there to do besides be grateful for the life I do have and trust that there’s a plan for me? What else is there to do besides live in the moment and cherish each second I’m given with the family I do have? Not much. And I feel like I’m finally back to being conscientious of that.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I can handle my situation. If we don’t have another child, it won’t be the end of the world. While the dreams I dreamt may not play out like I envisioned, they’ll play out somehow and we’ll be okay. And who knows? Maybe we will be blessed with another child – there is still hope. At the same time though, I never realized the devastation of miscarriage before going through one myself. Selfishly I never understood how it could be so hard to lose someone you’ve never physically met or held. I kick myself now. It’s hard. My heart goes out to all those suffering from miscarriage and infertility issues. Alone I have a handful of friends dealing with similar issues and I’m in awe of their strength. As October was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, I guess this post may have been a little more fitting to publish then, but I’m close enough and really we should always be aware. Think twice before you wonder why so and so doesn’t have any kids. Second guess yourself before pushing infertility and miscarriage aside as “not so bad”. Post away on Facebook and Instagram and whatever other social media outlets there are these days – I swear I’m not that old but I can NOT keep up – but be mindful that the 15 pictures posted of your kids every. single. day. might be a little much. Just saying. Reach out. Empathize and sympathize. Hug a sister. I haven’t been through much at all, but this glimpse I had into the world of miscarriage and infertility was enough to completely change my view. It also made me realize that I, myself, haven’t been as supportive as I should have been to those I love – to those who have experienced or are experiencing these issues. I might be one of the least PC people you’ll ever meet and I don’t get offended at much, but at the same time I do believe a little sensitivity can go a long way.
Cheers to November, friends, and to a happy and healthy holiday season. If you’re down and out, give yourself time. But then grasp for that string of hope, knowing there’s a plan for you, and live the life you’re given the best way you know how. Love to all.