My son was born and I have scarcely a word to write about it. A blinking cursor has stared me down for the better part of nine days and I'm not sure there has ever been a greater discrepancy between the amount of thoughts streaming through my head and the inability to put any of these impressions and observations into words. Perhaps this says enough.
I thought seeing Leo would mean seeing Margot and it never occurred to me to think otherwise. The reason for his existence seemed inseparable from her, his life intrinsically fused to her life and death in a way that was concrete, a foregone conclusion. And then I saw him and I only saw him. He wasn't a continuation of Margot's story. He was just himself, without attachment, without her. His own revelation.
Margot is still present, as close now as before Leo, the foundations of her memory being built by the gifts she bestows, by the grief, by the transformative nature of experiencing her. If Leo has changed our grief at all, it's in the distraction of taking care of him, in the expansion of our hearts for another child.
I forgot how long my mind has been living in the future. How long we have been waiting, biding our time, distracting ourselves, ticking days off the calendar before lunch time. Perhaps the greatest part about having Leo, other than the obvious, is the way we can be present again, fully here, without a future date branded onto our brains. It's like seeing the world in color again, without the future and the anxiety graying over everything.
We were up last night, mother and father, around two in the morning, tending to our crying kids. While Leo struggled to learn the art of nursing, jerking and crying and latching on repeat, Stella woke up in a fit of tears. The moment almost felt sublime, miraculous really, two kids, crying in unison, both here, fully present in our home. I gave pause before tending to the eldest, thankful for this chance, for the added noise. The sound of their tears echoed off one another like sweet relief, the sun at the end of a long, gray winter.