Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Strange days indeed

Today is October 16th. Ruthie started school. Preschool, but it's school. When we picked her up after school, the teacher told us she cried If you know Ruthie, this is kinda surprising. Ruthie is pretty social, and couldn't wait to start school. She didn't want to talk about it initially, but eventually she told us that she missed us. My poor little pumpkin. But she says she can't wait to go back.
Also surprising is that today I did not cry. I had some good reasons to cry, and anticipation of it made me well up, but when today rolled around, I did not cry. Why would I have cried? Well, for starters, today was the exact day, five years ago, that Benny and I found out our first little baby-to-be, whose heartbeat had been seen on an ultrasound just two weeks prior, was no more. That teeny weeny heart had stopped. It was one of the most devastating experiences of my life, and the beginning of a year that was the lower than I knew I could go. I spent a good portion of that year thinking I would never be a mother. Despairing really. I don't think I dwell on it, but I do remember this date every year (coincidentally, for all you Catholics, also the feast day of St. Gerard, patron saint of expectant mothers). So I expected to be welling over with tears of gratitude. For that, and for the fact that I was looking at Ruthie, and remembering her first weeks. After her birth, for a few days at least, I wasn't sure she would live. Then ,when it looked like her survival was almost a guarantee, I wondered if she would be "okay". I knew what preemies were up against. I'd done my research. I knew it would be along time before we knew if she would have any physical issues, and even longer probably before we knew if she'd have cognitive ones, or social ones. For all we can tell, Ruthie has dodged a big bullet. Here she is, going to school with a bunch of other three-year olds, and looking and acting no different. She amazes me. And really, I know it's a matter of luck. Really, really really good luck. I did think about that today. And I thought about the times when I thought I'd never be a mom. And I looked back at my two little girls sitting in their matching car seats in the back of our car, and I remembered all the things I thought I'd remember. But I guess, unconsciously, I decided today was best lived in the moment. Getting here wasn't necessarily easy, so I'll enjoy it while I can.


Carly said...

that's so awesome - yay Ruthie!

I didn't cry when I brought mine to school because I'd "given them up" to go back to work when they were each 6 wks old. Going somewhere while mom was at work was all they knew so it wasn't bad.

D's first day of Pre-K was the day before 9/11. There's a picture of me, with him in front of the house, and I look distracted, and it's hard to explain what I feel when I look at that picture. Like, I had no idea how horrible that next day would be, how emotionally draining, but I wish I could go back to being that person in the photo who didn't really know about the hard times goming up.

Carly said...

coming, going, goming... sigh.