It's been one of those weeks. A lot of friends and acquaintances had babies this week. My Facebook news feed was full of little newborn photos and thrilled-parent status updates. And while I am always super happy for anyone who welcomes a new little life into the world, the hurt over losing Matthew is still fresh enough that it brings back the sting when I think about how we never got to do that with him.
Yesterday, J's sister gave birth to her fourth living child. She's a sweet little cherub looking baby. We're so excited to have her in our family. Yet, as I was looking at the pictures of her, I had a streak of jealousy that my sister-in-law gets to have her #4 live baby. I hate that I am not just happy for her. I hate that mixed in with my happiness is envy. I hate that I can't just set my experience aside and have a purity of heart for others. Ugh.
This morning at breakfast, I told my 6-year-old JL "You got a new cousin yesterday!!" She said, "yeah, I know. Daddy showed me last night." I looked over at my usually sunshine-faced girl. She was staring into her cereal bowl. I said, "she's really cute, isn't she?" "Yeah..." gaze fixed on the granola. I sat down across from her. I said, "are you kind of happy for them and kind of sad for us?" Teary nod. "Yeah," I said. "It's hard sometimes for me, too, when other people get to have their baby and we didn't get to have ours." "Yeah," she said.
One of the things I hate most about Matthew dying is the way that it has stripped my girls of their naivete. They learned at ages three and five that life can be really cruel and unpredictable. As little, little girls, they had to deal with the reality and finality of death. They've had to learn to cope with their broken hearts and how to miss another little brother they really wanted. And as I watch them navigate this, it hurts me even more.
I want to be the kind of person who is able to be happy for others when they have healthy babies, without being bitter that Matthew wasn't. I want to be the kind of Mama who teaches her girls that it is ok to mourn, but also to share in others' joy. And mostly, I want us to be a family where life is valued and honored and never taken for granted, even when it is far too short.