I took Eli trick or treating tonight. At the beginning, most of the people that came to the door were the age of grandparents, or the parents who had opted to be the ones handing out candy while their children went out trick or treating. And I somehow managed not to see any babies. But then we rang the bell of one of our neighbors, a woman who I don’t know well, but I occasionally would see out with her son in his stroller. Trick or treat, Eli said. Trick or treat, she said. How are you? Is your second son at home? she asked. No, he died, I say. Horrified look. I am so sorry, she says. Avoids eye contact for the next minute while Eli selects his candy and talks to her son. Awkward. Stupid Halloween. We go home. Home where my second son is not.
Tomorrow is my birthday. I am not looking forward to it. Nothing to celebrate. A year older. A year gone. Sidney gone. I will spend the am in meetings with students. In the afternoon, I will go to therapy, come home, eat dinner. This is not how it should be.
This weekend, my husband was out walking with Eli and they met an elderly woman who lives down the street. She asked Eli if he had any brothers or sisters. No, he said. Then a second later. I had baby Sidney, but he died. Yes, my husband said, confirming that what Eli said was true. I had wondered how he would answer that question when it arose. He did a good job. But I don’t want his answer to be true. I don’t want this to be his reality any more than I want it to be mine.
The past few days Eli has been mentioning Sidney more, saying he is sad and that he wants him to come back. Me too, my lovely little boy, me too.
I got an email from a student. I hope you are enjoying your maternity leave, it read. No, I am not.
I want a puppy. I want its companionship. I think it would be therapeutic. It would give me something positive to focus on. And it would guarantee that I was active, since I would have to walk it for a decent amount of time everyday. My husband does not want one. 😦
My dad is obsessed with genealogy. He has traced his family back hundreds of years, and often contacts or is contacted by other ‘relatives’ who are also obsessed with genealogy. He put baby Sidney in our family tree. That means other people will know he existed. It means a lot to me. His name in a permanent record. At least there is that.