Paiden turned one and had his first haircut. I was happy, thrilled and yet....?
During the haircut, I kept thinking of Perry and how his first birthday was supposed to be his first haircut. No way could I imagine before all this or any parent would want to think about how it actually happened. And yet here it was before me in my mind as Paidens hair fell to the ground. We stopped and gathered locks for his memory book and I couldn't help but think of Perry's little book. I was also a little worried- what if he looked even more like his brother? Would this be a wonderful glimpse into Perry or that bitter salt that grinds in unhealed wounds? Did I want this or fear it? And yet I did want it. I want Paiden to grow. I want him to reach milestones- that even if they are triggers in their own way, I want them for him and for us.
All the milestones- his own passport, reaching 5 months, sitting on Santa's lap, his first tooth, sitting up by himself, crawling, standing, and the first step, have been wonderful but bring on quasi should have been memories. Because he is mine, I embrace Paiden's, but yet they are no less painful in their own way as the random milestones of strangers. I know that for the rest of my life I will see a thin transparent Perry in my best moments of Paiden's. I will think about him as Perry gets a driver's license or as he graduates. I will wonder about who he would have married when I sit at Paiden's wedding. I will wonder about the wonderful grandchildren that I will never get to meet. I think about all the family pictures that will never be.
The barber said "Look Mom, in a few minutes he won't look like a baby anymore, he will look like he is two years old".
And at that moment Emily let lose. "I don't want his hair short. He won't look like baby anymore." Baby was or is her nickname for both Perry and Paiden. And she wailed. The barber remarked that he had never seen a sibling react this way. I can't help but wonder if she had her own little emotional pack she carries around.