Paiden is 5 months. An age his brother almost reached. Bittersweet. Relief at him breathing, hands curled in his own hair. Feeling the wrongness that Perry's little brother is now older than he was.
I spent the days leading up to this milestone barely sleeping. Praying that God would not take this little one too. Laying in bed staring at the motion monitor flashing green with each breath on the wall.
Now I am paranoid, I watch my daughter closely in the pool at a friend's house and interrupt nursing Paiden because I am worried she is not being watched. I have started systematically getting rid of the plastic bags in the house... Paiden is going to crawl soon. Chris fixates on small pieces that belong to Emily's toys. I want the mobile moved up higher. Neither one of us says why, but we know.
We can't loose another. I try not to worry, but I know it can still happen.
I worry about family members, how long will I have them? Mortality is very much on my mind these days.
But sometimes sunshine breaks through the clouds. I've seen a lot of black butterflies lately. Are they signs, do I even believe in signs? Memories of Perry flutter through my mind- his course baby laugh, so like Emily and Paiden's. His wobbling attempt to stay upright as I sat him up. He pushed with his arms in an awkward tripod. The way he nuzzled the spoon looking for ice cream the one time (why didn't I let him taste solids? He should have known what applesauce tasted like, he was about ready. I find it hard to refuse new flavors to Paiden, I want to see the list of things he has done begin to pile up).
I remember Perry jumping in the jumparoo- it was already at the second to last adjustment- I had to lower it to the lowest for Paiden's chubby legs. He smiled in delight. I remember him in the black cow diaper (where is it? I hid it to selfishly keep it from the ground). I remember the way his hair was just long enough to curl slightly below his ears, the little sharp fingernails I could never trim because he would always move his hands. I remember how he was just starting to slobber... He didn't play with toys quite the way Paiden does. He teethed on the blue pacifiers, chewing on the base as he held it in tiny hands and jumped. Blue eyes- ears that had just now uncrinkled. A charming smile. His body was so long, when I hold Paiden my mind jumps back sometimes and Paiden feels too short. So patient and yet a rolling mass of movement that could move across the floor. I remember him frowing one of the last times I left him at the Y nursery. Long lashes, a beautiful little boy stretching quietly towards being a toddler. Mr. Wiggles. Emily's Milk Monkey. Black hair fading to brown.
I want Perry. I want Paiden. I want them all.