This is not your regular Christmas. There are so many wonderful things I have to look forward to. My husband is passed out after an extremely happy homecoming from his deployment. He may have only been gone two months this time (on deployment number four), but it’s following a six month TDY (temporary duty for you non-military), so it feels much, much longer. Both our families are piling into Dover to celebrate with us. One of my best girlfriends is planning to stop by a few days after Christmas. That doesn’t even include H’s first ever Christmas Pageant, or the fact that she almost, kind of understands the season. Imagining her joy on Christmas morning tickles me.
H has a Fancy Nancy Christmas book that she got last year. We’ve been reading it a lot lately. Nancy talks all about decorating and putting up the tree. She is devastated (I paraphrase, “It’s like being upset only a zillion times worse”) when the tree topper she had spent all her birthday money on is broken when she accidentally knocks into the tree. Grandpa comes to the rescue, and they make a new topper. On the last page Nancy is getting a kiss from her little sister, who is wearing Nancy’s leg warmers. If you read the tag on the wrapping paper, it says that Nancy is giving her an “heirloom.”
That page kills me. I actually try not to look too closely at it when I read. H should have had a baby brother or sister for Christmas this year.
The baby I lost in May had a due date of December 7. In my guest room are tiny Christmas newborn sleepers that I picked up at a clothing exchange no more than a week before I lost that pregnancy. They were in fact, sitting in a laundry basket at the top of the stairs during the miscarriage. Putting those tiny garments into the drawer is by far my worst laundry-related incident, if such a thing exists. I kept them because I couldn’t bear to do anything else with them. Losing the baby was bad enough, giving away the clothes he/she never wore is still unthinkable. Neither can I go in that drawer. Thankfully there’s no reason for me to go in it.
On our tree this year is a special ornament. It’s a hand-painted heart with angel wings on one side and an inscription of “Angel Baby Dec 2011” on the other.
I wish that was the end of it. But it’s not. Hanging next to that ornament is another that reads, “Two Souls, One Heart March 2012” for the conjoined twins we lost in September. I was so comforted by the thought of a big pregnant Christmas belly—that at least there would be the promise of a younger sibling. But there is no baby this Christmas.