We spent the weekend away, arriving home yesterday morning. Friday was a beautiful day, in spirit if not in weather. There were tears in the morning, gently soothed by the sound of the lapping waves and the breeze in the sea grasses as we sat on the sand dunes, remembered, and looked out towards the horizon. The tears - and the sadness - were neither as copious nor as tinged with bitterness as they have been in past years, giving us both a sense of affirmation that we are indeed intact, as is our sense of hope for the future; just as we release our previous expectations of life, and forgive those versions of ourselves that held them. Our love, too - for what has gone - remains.
And just as there were tears, there was much laughter on Friday. There was digging our toes in the sand and getting very dirty and collecting seashells. There were jokes about H's rather tyrannical vision of a historically and architecturally accurate medieval sand fortification, (I insisted S would be as bored with the notion of historical fidelity as I was, while my dear husband insisted any son of his would be as avid as he. But really...a toddler?). There was ice cream and meadow walks and forget-me-nots and frolicking newly born lambs and freshly caught seafood (because if he can inherit an interest in military history from his father, then I would surely nurture a fine palate and appreciation of local bounties in my boy). And after dinner and a long day in the fresh air of the countryside, there was a quiet and contemplative walk through the twilight of a beautiful little coastal town of winding, cobbled streets. (Some of which appear below, in case you're interested). And so importantly, this commemoration felt woven into the mundane fabric of our lives and our routines in a totally natural way. And S was present everywhere, not least in the tiny space between H and I when we cuddle and comfort one another. In some ways, the love grows deeper, the connection stronger, and I marvel at the experiences that my son continues to inspire me to seek.
|A contemplative spot|
|S's castle, complete with seashell entry gate and accurate (so I'm told) fortifications.|
This blog has been a bit of a love fest for my husband lately, hasn't it? In recounting my thoughts of the weekend, I want to offer up one more sickly sweet ode to H, and then we'll return to our regular programming.
After posting this I realized that I too fall prey to the fallacy that we are not active parents, that our parenting will happen in future tense. Of course we struggle. It's not easy learning how to parent a baby who is not here, especially in a society so death averse as ours is. But we try to find ways to express our love. We have to be creative. We learn to honour and include that which we cannot see but know to be present. And H is a master of these touching gestures of devotion. It was he who staked a claim on the 17th as a special day for S, and it has made the ambivalent feelings that come with each birth day anniversary so much easier to bear. It was he who proposed a day of childish pursuits each year, something we hope to be able to include our future children in as years pass. He masterminded the sandcastle.
He is an amazing father. I am so happy to be sharing this journey with him.
And now we are back and life, with all its banalities and tiny moments of the sublime, continues. There are work projects to complete and summer holidays to plan for, blogs to catch up with and, because the moment for jungle time happened to poignantly coincide with this past weekend, there is a two week wait to begin. Because we are resilient, and even as hope wanes, there's no harm in trying. Or in obsessing.