Barcelona was a high point. The sun shone. The heat was almost too much. Almost, but not quite. It melted the stress, the weights from our shoulders. I was on a high.
I was happy. Properly happy.
And then we came home. That, I think, was the worst mistake I could have made. I don't really know of a way that we could have stayed, but we should have thought of something.
Anyway. This blog entry was typed into my netbook on the train back to my parent's house, just over 24 hours after flying back into the UK.
I'm currently on a train. The journey is being tortuous. First of all, a child crying. A baby I think, but an older baby. One who is crying out of anger or frustration, deliberately. Maybe just anger at being in a hot stuffy airless train where its parents can't meet its needs like they normally would. And crying babies don't normally bother me, but for some reason, this one tonight does.
I have my mp3 player with me but it's only just occurred to me to use it. After the baby has stopped crying. Ah well. Better late than never.
And then. I'm sitting at a table. And at Leeds a woman took the seat diagonally opposite me. And then was joined by her child, sitting next to me. And kids don't normally bother me either. (The only group that consistently gets to me is visibly pregnant women. They are always like a punch in the guts.) But this one is different. He's a boy for a start. When I imagine having kids I never really imagine having a boy. But. This relationship that's playing out in front of my eyes. It fills me with longing. He's been telling her about how paper aeroplanes can be used to send messages in wartime. She's talking to him as an equal. Listening to him. Suggesting ways he could use the messages to conspire against her if she grounded him.
And it's just not fair, you know? I should be at the beginning of that journey now. I should have a baby aged nearly three months. I should be wondering where the time has gone. (I am, I guess. How is it already eight months?) I should be dreaming of how my child will grow. I should be trying to prolong every minute, but knowing it will always grow away from me.
In four years' time, or thereabouts, I should be worrying about whether they are ready for school.
Seven years after that, I should be wondering with amazement how my baby is already big enough to go up to secondary school.
And then, eighteenth birthday. Twenty-first. First job. Relationship of whatever guise. Children of their own.
But it's not just those things that I miss. It's the certainty that those things will happen, sure as night follows day. (Sure as grief will touch any life, sooner or later.) Now all I can see is things that can go wrong. Small children knocked over crossing the road. Bigger children getting drawn into things they shouldn't. Young adults being involved in car crashes. And all the other millions upon millions of ways a life can slip away.
I never admitted it to anyone else, except maybe D, maybe once. But the reason I want more than one child is that I don't want to be left childless if I have a child who dies. And losing my baby, albeit at 17 weeks (... or 13 weeks; maybe one day I'll decide on one or the other) has not made me breathe a sigh of relief. It's not made me feel that the worst has happened and that I'll be safe from future tragedy. Instead, it's made me realise how precarious life is. How easily it can slip away.
How easily it can resolutely refuse to happen at all.
And I know that having more than one child wouldn't safeguard me against this. I know that sometimes siblings die together, in tragic accidents that make onlookers catch their breathe and think thank goodness it wasn't me. But it lengthens the odds.
Friday 30th July.