Every day we can do better

I haven’t written here for a long time. When I’m not at work, pretty much every free minute is taken up with Rose or trying to clean the house or things like that. Rose is spectacular, amazing, just every detail is a joy, even the hard parts like sleepless nights are nights I get to be a mommy making my baby feeling better. I am loving every minute of it.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t think of Ada every single day. Every joy I relish with Rose is a moment I don’t get with Ada… a tinge of sadness with every milestone. In saying silly things to Rose, I accidentally say something like “you’re my favorite baby ever” or “you’re the best baby ever” but then my heart catches in my throat.

My two girls: Ada and Rose. One whose life never begun and one who has her whole life ahead of her. Death and life, sorrow and joy. I have a fierce, incredibly powerful need to do everything I can to make Rose feel safe and happy. I wonder if it’s stronger because of Ada, but I think most moms feel this way. I often think about how powerless I was to help Ada and how thankful I am to be able to provide for Rose. I want to do things for Ada too, but since she isn’t with us, I have to do things for others.

Today on NPR there was a story about a homeless family in DC: mother and father with 4 children including a 2 year old and an infant. The mother said they had to live in their van for a while because they couldn’t afford to stay in motels and there was no space for a family in the shelters. It was so cold this winter. She said she was barely sleeping because she kept checking to make sure her babies were still breathing. I do not know the hardship of not having a place to live. But I know the fear that makes you check for the rise and fall of your sweet baby’s chest. Thankfully the family is now staying in an apartment-style shelter and they hope to get back on their feet this year. I hope with all my heart that baby grows up strong and healthy.

The story reminded me of something I saw recently in a moms’ group on Facebook. A mom was driving back from dropping her toddler and baby off at daycare when she saw a woman struggling in the cold to walk with groceries and her toddler and infant. The driving mom thought she could stop and offer to drive them home. It couldn’t be that far, and the kids would fit in the carseats. But she just kept on going because she thought it would be weird to offer help. I saw a homeless man in Bethesda after I had just spent too much on lunch and I knew a snow storm was coming but I just passed him by. We aren’t very good at helping each other. We can do better. I can do better, for Ada.

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