The other day I broke my son’s heart, I’m always doing that, like when I say “no, you can’t stay up and watch the champions’ league match. He’s a creature of few emotions, elation or misery, that’s it, no grey in between.
This time however I felt awful, he’d misunderstood some joke I’d made, and with his face lighting up in pure joy exclaimed “you’re having a baby!” “Ermm, no, ‘fraid not”. His features crumpled as he asked if I could make one anyway please. I explained that they don’t just come along like that and while I would have wanted one before, now he was heading for 10, and more importantly me for 40, it was just too late.
Too late, I’d not thought about it for a while, we had tried for number three but he, or she had never come. In my mind 40 was definitely the cut-off point, not so much for the health risks but for the difference it would to makes to our lives, mine especially. I remember the exhaustion caused by over three years without a decent night’s sleep, how I functioned in automatic pilot for what felt like forever,my mind drifting in the middle of a conversation and breaking down in tears when I couldn’t find the car keys.
Life just has too much to offer now to spend my nights humming and pacing, my children are now at an age where we can just go off and have adventures at the drop of a hat, without packing a bag an hour before. I can even go out for a run or make a phone call without organizing the event weeks in advance. They were totally gorgeous babies, but they’re totally gorgeous now too, and can go to the toilet on their own. I know this is selfish but I really love the free time I get too much to lose it again.
One of my resolutions has involved going through a bag in the cellar every week, this week, as coincidence would have it today I got rid of my pregnancy clothes, they’ll be sent to the Red Cross to help some other mum, I hope her pregnancy is a joyous as mine were.
I would never complain about how life has turned out, we have been so lucky to have two wonderful children, who apart from a very small heart murmur are in perfect health. They came along more or less upon request, with none of the heartbreaking odyssey that would almost destroy my health or our couple as I’ve seen happen to friends.
But, as I sat explaining things to my son I could almost smell the baby that never was, feel his tiny hands fluttering around my neck, and I do reserve the right to miss him, especially now, as I say goodbye to him forever and send him away with a silent sniff.