We don’t really do celebrations in our house. They tend to be too noisy, too busy, too different, too ‘not about me’ etc, etc. We keep everything as low key as we can, same people, same things, same food and we get through.
The run up to Christmas is not an easy time. As much as we avoid it in the house, it is EVERYWHERE in the wider community. School are already practising ‘the show’ and things are already becoming too much.
Last night, in a bid to try to feel we could still do things, my husband and I watched a film. A film called Gifted. I won’t say too much about it but it is about a girl who is being raised by her uncle. At one point, the wee girl is heartbroken thinking that when she was born nobody was excited about the event and nobody wanted it to happen. Her uncle took her to a maternity ward and they waited to watch the celebrations that occur when someone came out to tell their relatives that their baby had been born. He then told her ‘It was EXACTLY like this when you were born.’ and she replied ‘That happy?’ ‘That happy.’
It was like being hit in the chest. I cannot share that story with my children. I cannot tell them that what it was like. But worse, I know that for one of my children, there were no family members there, no one there to celebrate the safe arrival of her. What awaited one of my children was a hospital room and a stranger.
I’m not going to lie, my feelings about birth family are complicated. They did things to the girls that should never be done and I’m angry about that. But at the same time, it’s easy for me to sit here, never having had an addiction to something, never having suffered severe mental health issues and to make sweeping statements about things. In that moment, I cried for my eldest but I cried for her birth mum too. In a time that for so many people is a time of huge celebration, she was alone, knowing that she was not going to be taking her child home with her.
There is so much loss in the girls’ lives. For one of them it is one of the first things they experienced and there has been so much loss for her ever since. I understand her need to keep celebrations at arm’s length. She’s still waiting to lose everything all over again.
The best bits
Little chose Goldilocks for a bedtime story last week. When I’d finished reading, she reached over, cuddled me and said, ‘You’re just right too mummy.’
When I tucked Big in a few nights ago, I whispered ‘I love you’ and she whispered ‘Love you too.’