Today marks the six month birthday of our beautiful Alistair! Half a year with this little one.
My heart swells when I look at him and think of just how far along he’s come. Inquisitive and determined, always bursting with smiles, he’s the sweetest, funniest little man. With tiny feet that are now as long as his arm was at birth, he’s grown exponentially before our very eyes. His three month clothes are being packed away for a bigger size and our arm muscles quickly tire when snuggling all fifteen pounds of baby chub. Alistair loves to sing and squeal, coo and gurgle. He’s strong and has the most adorable, squishable, baby rolls.
Six months, my sweet baby boy. Six months of snuggles and late night lullabies. Six months of diapers and squirmy, slobbery hugs. Six months of wiping tears and kissing away pain. Six months of the brightest, gummiest smiles that have ever been seen. Six months of watching, swaddling, loving, rocking, holding and praying. Six months together.
I cherish these moments, soaking them up – I know they only last so long. Already we’re out of the infant stage and as much as I long for more than four hours of sleep, I know that he’ll never be this small again. I’ll miss these early morning snuggles, little fingers wrapped around mine, soft whimpers as he drifts to sleep in my arms. I’m honoured to have been given the gift of getting to watch this little one grow, to be his mom.
And while the everyday speeds by, a blur of feeds, naps and diapers – the milestones jar you to a sudden stop, flooding you with reflections. For us, these important stepping stones of a child’s life are also particularly difficult days. The same day that we celebrate half a year together, we also remember half a year apart. Six months ago, we were allowed the privilege of keeping one precious babe; the other was on a fast track graduation, born straight into Heaven.
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that there ever were two. As I pace around the living room with Alistair bundled in my arms, swaying back and forth, watching eyelashes flutter against flushed cheeks – one may think that this was all there ever was. Life feels content and cozy with a child snuggled against your chest. And when a missing little one crosses your mind, there’s pain. There’s the fear of forgetting, of memories fading. Pain comes even as healing begins. Open wounds are slowly stitched up, painfully reminding you that life goes on without him. Your family can go on without him. And that hurts.
While we grieve Landon, our family continues to flourish. We watch Alistair bloom with each passing day: muscles become stronger, teeth push against gums, hands grab and pick up toys, and new skills are learned. We rejoice as each of his goals are met and checked off. And although we are quick to fall back into a pattern of normalcy, we try not to take even one diaper or early morning feed for granted.
It’s been difficult to learn to walk the fine line between celebrating a life and grieving a loss. Losing one twin is a rollercoaster of emotions as you ride up and down, sudden highs or a quick drop at any corner. Two sons born – one struggling to breathe in an incubator, the other already singing and dancing in adoration, kneeling before the throne of the One Who Saves.
There are difficult days, difficult moments. Milestones are hard. Six months together. Six months apart. And through each day, we learn to navigate and confront conflicting emotions and triggers. We will never forget – but each day, our tight grasp on the pain begins to loosen. We chose to live; to go on each day knowing of a wondrous reunion that awaits us.
Happy six months my boys!