One of the first things I noticed when we came home from the hospital after Allie died was the silence. It was so quiet. Even though we had friends and family stopping by to take care of us and tend to our every need, the house was so quiet and still. The empty sounds of a baby NOT crying was almost too much for me to stand. I remember being so angry at the silence.
Since the day we brought Miranda home, there has been very little silence. She is a child who likes to make her presence known and she does it with both grace and gusto.
This past Saturday was my birthday. It was a wonderful day filled with gymnastics lessons for Miranda in the morning followed by lunch, just the three of us. Then I dropped Miranda at my mom's house and Gary and I got prepared to go to the movies and dinner.
When we got home, the house was so quiet. This was only the second time ever that we were home at night without our daughter. I could not help but notice how different the silence was.
The silence before Miranda was sad and empty and filled with grief.
The silence now is just peace and quiet.
There is a big difference.
My heart will never forget the different kinds of silence. My head won't either.
Allie takes up a chunk of my soul that has a lot of happiness, but is also cloaked in sadness. Who would she be right now? How many times would she have slept at Grammy's house? What would she look like? What would her hobbies be?
Miranda takes up a different chunk of my soul and what is not happiness is anxiety, worry, and fear. Am I doing this right, am I doing that right, am I going to mess this child up forever??
Being a parent is not easy. Being a parent to a child who only lives in your heart is tough. Being a parent to an almost four-year-old with limitless energy, an active imagination and the desire to want to play all the time is also not easy. However, parenting a living child is very rewarding. Parenting a child that is not here with you is just...silent.
Sometimes I still hate the sound of that silence. More and more, though, I am still healing and learning to just enjoy the sound of silence.