I held Naiomi this past weekend and it was great.  Didn’t break down or freak out or fall apart.  I walked in, saw her in her baby chair, looked directly into her enormous blue eyes and picked her right up.  There was no question about it.  All of the previous times in her 6 months on this planet that I’ve been with her I devolved into a sodden mess or wigged out on her ultra-newborn-ness.

Now I can begin to get to know her and ensure that someday I’m her favorite.

All the babies I know born since Silas hold a special place in my heart.  They are all the almost-mines.  They are the what-could-have-beens.  They are my surrogate kids.

That’s not to say the ones that came before Silas don’t count at all.  In fact, those kids are all my friends already.  They are easy.  The more recent children take extra effort for me to accept and connect with.  I must do it, though.  To do otherwise is to nullify his brief existence.  But it is so hard.

I hate that feeling, that I have to shy away from the best new parts of my loved ones’ lives.  It kills me that I cannot share in the joy of their new children.  And it is impossible to feel like that and maintain healthy relationships.

I need my friends.  For me, friends are as essential as water and food and sleep.  And family, of course, is the thick red of my blood and the invisible light my soul.  Together they pull me along into every next day, where somehow, sometimes, it does manage to feel a little better than it did the day before.

That is today, though.  That is right now.  Tomorrow is a whole other story, and one I cannot even begin to get into until I’m through it and beyond.

I want tomorrow to be wonderful.  I want to be free of fear and pain and sadness.  I want to trust that the Universe will at least look the other way as we slip by into modest contentment and peaceful dreams.  I want to celebrate the arrival of every new child and crush the jealousy and resentment I feel when I see everyone with everything I want but do not have.

It is difficult to contain the complexity of this longing and sadness and love and laughter and depression and brittle strength, and resilient weakness, and despondent determination, and resolute indifference, every day, all the time.

Sometimes I forget how fucked up I am.  Sometimes I even feel okay.

I thought holding Naiomi proved that I had transformed and stepped forward.  But then the very next day my oldest and bestest friend appeared with his weeks-old-son, and I nearly ran screaming into the woods.  I knew they were coming.  I was glad they were there.  But Henry in his harness and the brutal reality of his beautiful presence was impossible for me to experience.

Even from forty feet away I could sense his newness, and it reminded me inexorably of all the moments I never had with my son Silas.