Today has been an extremely bittersweet day for me.
First, my friends, well they are really family but it’s hard to explain how but they just are, had their baby today. I’ve spent the entire pregnancy praying (the closest I could come up with) for this baby. Stevie, the baby momma, had some issue that made pregnancy not so fun or easy, and at first I wanted so badly for things to go well because I love her and Kyle (baby daddy) so much, but when the baby developed enough for me to feel him, I started to love him, too. I worried over Stevie, and I worried over baby, and I loved them all. I don’t know if they ever knew how much of my heart stayed with them all the time. They also better be okay with him being one of my beloveds, one of my kids.
Part of me wanted to be with them today, but I’d have been as useless as a box of hair. Births are this exciting rush of love and fear and anticipation, and everyone wants to be there. I knew as much as I wanted to hug and kiss Stevie and Kyle and dance with Chompy Trex (not his real name, but SO his name), there were others there who should hug and kiss and dance first. I will kiss and hug and dance some day soon, at their home when things have settled.
Also, quite frankly, my heart is still newly broken by Dad’s death, and I don’t think I can have a lot of joy at a hospital yet. They are still the place where I had so many complicated days and nights with my father. Chompy deserves pure joy, not my haunted, hurting heart as it would be in a hospital.
So, all hail Chompy Trex born on 10/5/15, roughly the size of a watermelon at 9 pounds 3 or so ounces and 19.something inches, my newest beloved.
What I did do today is help, and I use that term loosely, my sister move into her new house. I’m very proud of my sister. The only person I’ve ever known that worked as hard as she does is my father. She surpasses him, though, in her ability to be a loving, engaged mother. My dad was by no means a bad father; she is just that good of a mother. She and my brother-in-law have raised these smart, funny, wonderful kids. They are teaching them to be giving, kind, and mindful of others.
At one point, I sat watching my brother in-law playing out on their big, green, gorgeous new front lawn. They were all chasing each other, including the littlest, Cow Fart (she named herself that, by the way), and laughing and screaming, and it was one of the most breath taking things I had ever seen in my life. A wave of contentment and knowing washed over me. Deep somewhere in my being grew this knowledge that this was a good place for them, like a burning coal of foreknowing that her family would grow up happy and strong there. It took everything I had not to cry.
I felt Dad everywhere today. Some of it bad, like when Mom and I talked about how much driving we did between home and Oklahoma City and the hospital, or when we passed the hospital he did most of his dying in. Mostly, though, I felt him in good places. When Mom and I were trying to help unpack Cow Farts room and found this laminated sheet of pictures of Dad, Mom, their other grandparents, and everyone’s dogs they had originally made for Girl Child but Cow Fart stole. Cow Fart is a little thing still, but she and Dad had this deep bond, and even her choosing her name speaks of his spirit in her. Mostly, though, I know how proud and happy he would be to see what I saw today.
I’ve cried more today than I have in a while. I’ve hurt a lot today. I don’t think it’s bad, though. Let’s call it growing pains.