I have 100 days left at home with Euan. Well, it was 100 two days ago so now it is 98– in 98 days he will be one and in daycare away from me, and sleeping in his own room and I will just have to trust at night that he is still breathing.
I often fear that he will just quietly and unexpectedly die – a worry many parents have I’m sure – but I do not know if I am carrying on the family tradition of anxious mothers or whether it is infertility rearing its head yet again to say, he is a gift. He is a blessing and a gift but you don’t get to keep him. It still feels unreal sometimes.
I’m still floating between bottomless grief and highest joy, wondering when I will stop forgetting and remembering in a constant loop that my dad has gone. Euan is giggling and shouting and hitting his toys together and men wearing hats in my father’s favourite orange hue are sending me into sobs in the New World carpark. Life is full of unexpected multitudes and gut punches and bubbles floating through the spring air while my son cackles and I wonder if my heart is built to take all of these feelings.
I don’t know if next year will be a good year – a year with no death would be good but my father’s death will follow me into every year I suspect. I am full of anxiety about being away from my son and returning to a world that requires me to use my brain and time and energy to solve other peoples’ problems that in my mind no longer really matter. My son and my husband and my dog and my home and my family matter and yet I can’t find a way to conjure up the money that will allow me to continue to live in this lovely cocoon with him and so I must return to work and he must go make friends with strangers that I have to trust will nurture and grow to love him. I have to hope that he will be happy when not with me, though the idea breaks my heart little by little. I wish the world (or at least my part of it) didn’t value paid office-based work so much more highly than being on a playmat with my son helping him to grow and learn and be.
And so I plan to make these 98 days count and appreciate that I have had this luxury – this privilege – of being at home with him for a year.
It has been exhausting and challenging but 98% wonderful and I’ll never forget it.