Posted on November 25th, 2011
Many times in the past couple weeks, for some reason, I’ve found myself thinking about Sebastian’s hair.
People who didn’t know me as a kid are surprised when they see E’s platinum-blondness – but I never was. I figured he didn’t have a choice, since Sean and I were both blond as kids.
I got to be surprised when I saw Sebastian’s hair. It was almost as dark as mine is now, and reddish, close to auburn. I guess I don’t know whether he would have kept it (E kept all his, but some babies don’t). Now that we’re starting to imagine, tentatively, a potential child #3, I wonder about his or her hair colour, and if Sebastian was the only redhead we will get, or if E will somehow be the odd one.
If we don’t end up with another boy someday, I wonder whether E will feel cheated and angry that his brother didn’t make it. (Especially if he had multiple sisters, like my poor, severely outnumbered brother.) I hope not.
Sometimes I have half-asleep moments that mess with my mind. Moments where I stop before rolling over onto my belly, because I’ve forgotten that I’m not pregnant, that Sebastian’s not in there. It’s been almost five months. That’s weird, right? I didn’t have that with E. But of course, back then, I had a tiny person beside me to remind me I wasn’t pregnant. There was nothing missing.
There’s also the fact that I still look pregnant, for crap’s sakes. One of my JKs recently mentioned, “You have a big tummy!” Fantastic. She’s a chubby kid, too. That went over awesome.
As reported, Twilight movie night was on Monday. I was happy to go, and looking forward to seeing how they dealt with certain plot points. For example, I love the scene in the book where Edward discovers he can read his unborn child’s mind. It was well enough done in the movie, a happy scene. And as I’ve said, I’m not an overly triggerable person. But I have to admit there was a stab of pain for me when he focused on his child’s thoughts and said, “He’s happy.” I wish I’d had an Edward around to tell me that in July before Sebastian died… just to be sure. If I could have somehow known, “He’s happy,” everything would be easier. And it would have been a chance to know him just a little bit more.
I was also not prepared for the rush of heartbreak I felt later in the film – not at the birth of the healthy baby, as you might expect, but after. When Rosalie is holding her, cooing to her, and she is making tiny newborn noises. Sebastian was so silent and still. I don’t have words to describe the depth of my wish, always present but suddenly crystallized in a dark cinema, to have heard Sebastian’s voice and had that simple, gorgeous moment of communion with my second son. Even one.
On Wednesday morning, while on yard duty, I talked about Sebastian with one of my former students. The one I thought was a girl, but he isn’t. He’s in Grade 3 now. I have a total soft spot for him, not just because he always complimented me on my accessories, or wore nail polish and bedazzled his polo shirts. This is a very sweet kid, insightful and observant. One of those kids who clued in early that teachers are actual people who have their own homes and lives and everything. (In kindergarten, they totally think we live at school.)
This year, his classroom teacher has just gone on maternity leave. It obviously twigged something for him. He approached me and asked (in earnest French), didn’t I have a baby in my belly last year? Yes, you’re remembering right. And did you have the baby? (Trying to think of simple French phraseology that will be understood.) Yes, I did, but he wasn’t alive. Il n’était pas vivant.
Puzzled pause. He wasn’t alive inside you? Well, yes, he was alive… and then one day, he wasn’t.
The child stood processing. He looked sad. I nodded and said, Oui, c’était très triste. He took my cue, my small smile to tell him I was doing okay, I didn’t mind that he had asked me.
He said, Mais… c’est la vie. He gave me a sad little smile back.
It was actually the easiest telling-someone conversation I’ve had. Simple, to-the-point, and taken exactly at face value. I’m grateful for that.