January 26, 2008

3:35 PM: moving on

I have two empty spaces in my heart. One space will always be there, and it belongs to my sister Susan. That space, I know, will never be filled by anything else; it will never close up. The other space belongs to a pretty little girl named Allie.

It was only six months of my life, and in the big picture of life, it seems like it shouldn't affect my heart in quite the way it has. But the time I spent holding her, hugging her, kissing her, playing with her, reading to her, changing her diaper, watching her potty-train, teaching her words and songs and games, and, well, loving her... it all seems so much bigger to me than it sounds when I put a time frame on it. "Six months," I say. It sounds like nothing. But it's been only a little more than six months, too, since I last held her, and that seems like an eternity.

Letting go of a child is hard. It's something about the innocent way that they love you... that you love them... there's no agenda. There aren't any games. It's nothing like the expectations and struggles in a relationship. So I loved her... simply and fully. And she loved me, too, and it was an innocent, special kind of love that made her see me as nothing more than love in action. She didn't notice that I was flabby or had thin hair or that I was insecure or that her dad couldn't talk to me about his feelings. She saw me and smiled and ran into my arms and her love was joy to me. Walking away from a child who loved you completely, with perfect innocence, is hard.

Time does heal wounds, though, and I thought I was doing pretty well. Until I realized how hard it would be to meet another child and find myself unsure of how--or whether, even--to give my love to this child, too. I will, I know, but it might be slow. I'm ready to move on--but I'll never discount the love and lessons I gained from this little ball of love I mothered for six months.

So this is for you, Little One. One last reminiscence of your bouncy curls and your big blue eyes and the songs you sang for me. One last time, I'll let myself recall the times you read to me because I skipped a page in the book you memorized. One last time, I'll remember building barnyards out of Legos. Coloring Easter eggs. Playing sick while you took my temperature. Rolling down the hill in the backyard. Singing in the car. Watching Dora while you fell asleep in my arms. Dressing your dolls. Hearing you say, "I love you, Sannon," with your sweet little smile. And then I'll let you go, Baby, because you aren't mine. But I was blessed that I was yours, even if it was just for a heartbeat.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “moving on”

  1. # Blogger Erin

    [big hug]

    I love you!  

  2. # Anonymous Cari

    I have forgotten about your blog and so this happened a long time ago and well.. I feel like I missed out on a hug opportunity. : (

    Time does heal.. believe me.. well.. makes it easier.. or is it that it makes you forget the feeling.. not sure.. but even when they are your own.. time helps the hurt.. but it never fully goes away.

    There will always be reminders that sneak up on you and trigger memories.. then you just have to remember them as good ones and be thankful you got to share in them.. or you go crazy.

    (((Hugs)))  

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About Me

    Name: Shannon
    Age: 29
    Occupation: Editor
    Identity: Child of God
    Location: Ohio
    Yahoo: shann_79

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