When I went to pick up Joey a couple Tuesdays ago from school, his para was coming out of the school with a beautiful surprise: her absolutely beautiful grandchild. And the news that she was going to be taking custody of this gorgeous little girl, and needed things like a crib and a highchair and... well, baby stuff.
My basement and attic are stuffed to the gills with baby stuff. My guys were well-loved, well-cared for, and fully outfitted. Heck, I have three cribs. Three. See, not only were they fully outfitted, they were fully outfitted in two homes, because when Joey was very little and we thought I was headed back to work, he spent a lot of time at Grandma's while I did the Visiting Professor thing. And then Joey wasn't quite out of his crib with Andy came. My wonderful cousin also gave me a lot of things from her own twins, and those things often came in twos. We have a lot of baby stuff.
I kept most of it because I always thought there would be a third. When Andy was revealed as a boy, it was just part of the plan- that whole "try for a girl" thing (what? Have I never heard of "My Three Sons"?). Well, really, just to have that third baby, that new little one, another round of fresh baby head and powder and tiny little clothes and strollers. (No, I didn't forget about diapers and spit up and crying and potty training and being up at all hours of the night. But it was all worth it.) And that baby was going to be a girl, I just knew it. (Of course, I "just knew it" with Andy, too. Nevermind.) I saved the few girl things we got at Joey's baby showers. I have a small box somewhere in the attic with Holly Hobbie plaques to put on her wall, to "girl it up" a little. I have some mermaid fabrics to make her a quilt and maybe a bumper.
And she's not coming.
I sit now in a sea of baby equipment, sorting through bins of baby clothes. I have a small sack of things I just can't get rid of yet. I know I am missing another box of clothes somewhere, there are too many outfits I haven't seen. I have a huge bin of things to take to Ms. Macy- sheets, towels, clothes, cloth diapers (which make great burp clothes), books, toys. I have a bunch of equipment in the van to take. So I say goodbye to these things, and to the little one who never came, and never was. Perhaps it is an easy thing to be in love with a person who never existed, because they can be anything you wanted them to be. They can be all the smiles and firsts and little soft heads, without the diapers and the sleeplessness and the spit. Yet it is stillhard to say goodbye, when you never really got to say hello.