I came across an old post today at an old blog friend’s place. The first commenter was me, 4 days before Baby Man was born. I blogged a lot then, and was probably the first commenter on most posts as I was often refreshing pages, looking for comfort, camaraderie and distraction. Although it was a beautiful post, my comment was anything but significant. And yet, looking at it today, I was struck by a deep sense of…nothing.

I’ve been ridiculously tearful and on edge for the past 24 hours. Partly out of annoyance at my students, too many of whom wrote final papers consisting of filler and crap. Partly because my period arrived this morning. Partly because we’re awaiting a very stressful piece of professional news tomorrow. And maybe, maybe because we’re entering the period of anniversaries.

Honestly the first year of anniversaries was fairly dull in terms of pain, confusing because it intersected with Baby Man’s arrival and all of that exhaustion. Rough to commemorate because JJ was out of town and I was alone with a newborn. Natan’s birth/death comes at a bad time for remembering. Ha. I suppose it would always suck to have your birthday come just three days after the New Year, two weeks after Christmas, and threeish weeks after your younger siblings. Add to that two parents who seem to be perpetually on the job market and your birthday comes in the middle of the annual conference where they have to go salivate and beg at the feet of search committees at schools they never heard of before sending out their letters. I’m sure our potential colleagues, however, likely also had at least that part in common with us at some point. I doubt many of them were also thinking…oh…January 3rd.  Hmm. What was going on on January 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th just 3 short years ago?

But back to the present. What was going on on December 10th, 2006? I have no idea. I had no idea then this time of year would be any different than any other. Obviously I didn’t expect any kind of birth/death/dooms day anniversaries.

Is my grumpiness really about Natan? Or when I’m sad about other things, do I like to think it’s because of not having him because that seems like a more sensible reason? And is that because I don’t really feel his “presence” otherwise?



5 responses to “Unfamiliar

  1. Indeed. Yes. And some conversations, I’m sure, do not help.

    Coming up to anniversaries for us as well, two years now. I was, well, not numb, but perhaps consumed last year. I don’t know how it will be this year, those 10 days, ending on January 3 and 4.

    The weather is too similar. I tell myself it’s sensory. Smells. Light.

    I don’t know. I am happy to be grumpy with you, though. Any time.

  2. I laughed at your rant about it being a “bad time for remembering” Natan’s loss because I so get that! Coming up on the 4-year anniversary of my loss, I’m past the shock and full-on horror stage of things. But I remain pissed everything had to happen to us in December. Little A (subsequent baby after loss) was born Dec. 16th, her father’s birthday is Dec. 20th, our loss anniversary is Dec. 23rd, and of course Christmas is Dec. 25th. Even if I were some sort of super-healthy emotional athlete, the sheer logistics of managing all those milestones would trip me up. There is just no way to effectively get through it without ignoring or shorting something and feeling like I need to check myself into a hospital come New Year’s Eve.

    I tell myself that being lucky to have living children, I am obligated to do celebratory stuff in December whether I feel like it or not. But if I am fortunate enough to see the kids grown up, I know there will also come a time where I can set myself free from the holiday and birthday hoopla and just go with whatever I feel. But that is a long way out.

  3. Yep. That’s it, you just described my situation in lots of ways. I have M’s bday, then A’s right after. I mean, right after. Then Christmas. And can I just say I love your little comment about grumpiness? I could have written that. I often wonder, when I’m upset, is it really about M?

  4. hey. i just caught sight of the date today and thought of you & Natan.

    have been out of touch, but you’ve not been entirely out of my mind. 🙂

  5. Hey! I haven’t had time or energy to blog about labor and the baby’s birth. We are both great. She is healthy and beautiful. I will write soon and post pics. Hope you are doing okay! How is Baby Man? As he becomes a toddler, does he still have that nickname?

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