Last Friday, I took the six little ones with me to Target. We had some shopping to do and it felt good to get out of the house. I love Target. I swear I could spend hours in that store!
For those of you who are familiar with the Target carts, there is this one cart that has two extra seats up front where two little kids can sit. Do you know which cart I'm talking about? It's extra long because of those two extra seats, and for those of you who have ever used that particular cart, don't you think it's hard to handle? First of all, it's very heavy to push. And second, it's almost impossible to steer. I hate this cart. But whenever my kids see that cart they lose their minds. "Mommy! Let's get that one! Can we please get that one? Weeeee waaaaant that one!" whine whine whine, beg beg beg, cry cry cry. And sometimes I cave and stroll them around in that darn thing. But most of the time I don't. And whenever I'm pregnant, well...that's my perfect excuse not to use the cart. "Mommy can't push that heavy thing when there's a baby in her tummy! That wouldn't be safe." is the excuse I always give. So the last three or four times that we've been in Target, that is what the answer has been.
But last Friday when we went....we walked into the store and there it was: the cart. I tried to scoot us by without the kids seeing it, but nope -- didn't work. Right away they started in on me, asking if we could use that cart. And right away I began saying, "No....mommy can't push that cart...." and then I stopped myself. I was going to say that it was not safe for the baby. But then I remembered. There isn't a baby. Not anymore. Just 10 days ago there was.
But not anymore.
Sometimes....I forget. Why do I do that? Ten days is a long time, right? You'd think that I wouldn't forget like that. But sometimes, I do. Like last night, I was giving Aria a bath, and I was on my knees in front of the tub. I was rinsing her hair out and she kept moving away from me, so I leaned farther in and noticed that my belly was pressing hard against the side of the tub. And I instinctively moved back, so I wouldn't squish the baby. And then I remembered. There isn't a baby. Not anymore. Just 12 days ago there was.
But not anymore.
For the most part these past few days, I'm pretty okay with everything. As okay as I can be, I suppose. I know it happened. I'm processing the grief. And for the most part, I am okay. But then things like that happen -- where for an instant I forget, and then remember again. And it just hits me. It's like a cold wave goes through my body, really quick. And then the wave of sadness follows.
So last Friday at Target, instead of saying NO to the cart, I said, "Okay, we can use this cart this time."
and only Alex, my 10 year old, noticed that I changed my answer.
He looked at me with a worried expression on his face and said, "Mom, I know why you can push this cart now."
I smiled at him and said, "I know you do. It's okay, Bud. I'm okay."
He had tears in his eyes. He's my emotional one, and he was really looking forward to this baby.
And he is always looking out for me. Alex is sweet on me like that.
I reached over and tousled his hair, like I always do. He's such a sweetie, my Alex.
And then we walked for a while, not saying anything...me pushing that darn cart.
Then he said, "Mom, you know what I've been thinking?"
"What have you been thinking?" I asked.
"Well....if you get pregnant again, and if the baby is a girl....then we will know that the baby that died was a boy."
"Oh yea? How will we know that?" I asked, curious to hear what he had to say.
"Well," he said, " you always go boy, girl, boy, girl, boy, girl....and so since Aria is a girl, and if the next baby is a girl, then we will know that the baby that died was a boy. That's how we will know."
I smiled at that thought. Since there is no other way of knowing whether the baby was a boy or a girl, I kind of like Alex's theory. I'll go with that.