Sunday, January 15, 2006

Sentimental (and long. Sorry)

This weekend the Other Half and I have been clearing out our various abodes in order to streamline our belongings for moving. The work on the new house (must think of a witty name for it) is steaming ahead and we should be in in around six weeks. It's incredible how fast things are moving - the house has gone from being a scaffolded building site to a complete house in a very short space of time and it's a bit unnerving, albeit in a good way.

The amount of junk I brought with me to this flat when I left the Ex is a bit of a worry. I don't mean to give the impression that Small Person and I have to weave our way to the bathroom between six-foot stacks of old newspapers or anything, but I did manage to fill eight or nine black sacks with clothes for the charity shop and general crap for the tip. And I still have to clear out all my old paperwork (shred most of it, I hope) and take some books to the charity shop. Small Person has agreed that we will go through her toys and books and decide what to take and what to give to "children who don't have as much" - luckily she is used to this as we do it after every Christmas and birthday so it shouldn't be too traumatic. All in all, we should be sorted fairly soon.

While I was clearing the wardrobe in the spare room I came across some of Small Person's clothes from her babyhood. There's the blanket she was wrapped in and the tiny hat she wore when the Ex and I brought her home from the hospital at two days old, a couple of weeny, soft beanie hats, and a very small, very soft, cottony sleepsuit. I held the sleepsuit up and marvelled that the beautiful, sparky, lunatic, infuriating, funny and just plain wonderful creature I'm so lucky to call my daughter used to be so tiny. Without knowing what had hit me I found myself in tears and I've been trying to understand why.

I've talked before about how the Ex and I weren't suited - how we argued, how there was no respect in our relationship and how I always yearned for something more. That said, Small Person was very much wanted. I literally woke up one morning at the age of twenty five and decided that what I really had to do right now was have a baby. Although I was ill throughout, I loved being pregnant. I'll never forget the feeling of awe and astonishment I felt when I held my newborn daughter for the first time. Looking down at her angry little face and feeling the warm weight of her in my arms, I felt almost complete. I won't pretend it was easy - anyone who has had a baby knows that they do more to expose any cracks in a relationship than effect a miraculous cure for any problems, but all the same I revelled in being somebody's mother. She has taken the separation of our family in her stride, and despite my feelings about the Ex I have absolutely no doubt that he loves her as much as I do; he's just stupider.

I know that I won't have any more children. I love the Other Half very much, and just as he respects my point of view I have to respect his. We are ridiculously happy, and I am incredibly lucky to have Small Person and to have found such happiness in my personal life. All the same, I think that the sight and feel of that tiny sleepsuit brought home the finality of it. I will never feel a baby kicking inside me again. I won't experience the pain and sheer heady euphoria of giving birth to someone. I take my baby fixes where I can get them, and know that on a rational level I prefer not to be getting up four times a night and changing dirty nappies at a rate of knots. All the same, it hurts. Sometimes it hurts a whole lot, but isn't that just life?

Ah, Sunday. You can always count on Sunday for long, snivelling, self-pitying posts. That'll teach you for stopping by.

Carry on.


Blogger the Beep chimed in with...

Ouch. Good post, and you touched a very raw nerve there Surly. I might even have to post you that requested picture a kitten.
For reasons I may one day get around to posting about, I too am restricted to just one child and would have loved more.
That said I adore his nibs with a whole-heartedness that I didn't know I was capable of. And now I do know it I can no longer have anymore. Well, technically I can, but it is quite tricky for single male to do alone, and I am unlikely to attract a woman of childbearing age anymore. And anyway I am probably too old to face the nappies and nights and so on, and I didn't do half-hearted parenting and wouldn't want to if a twenty something sex siren insisted on taking me home with her.
For me the pain of not having another child is probably different, but feels as if it is just as acute.

15 January, 2006 17:54  
Blogger Kyahgirl chimed in with...

You write beautifully surly girl. I'm very glad I stopped by.

I'm excited to hear more about your move-that will be cool!

And -the beep, I'm sorry for your pain too. So often 'child' pain is associated with the woman's angle. Its very clear that men suffer too.

15 January, 2006 18:51  
Blogger Urban Chick chimed in with...

*wipes away a wee tear*

i am equally sentimental whenever i find a tiny babygro (and they were especially TINY) that was once worn by the chicklets

already seems like an age ago...

15 January, 2006 19:35  
Blogger Kellycat chimed in with...

I thought we'd settled on calling the new house "The Rectory" or something equally pretentious?

15 January, 2006 19:43  
Anonymous Other Half chimed in with...

I know what you have given up to be with me and I can never thank you enough for it. I cannot begin to understand the feelings you have on this but I value your honesty and the fact that we can share our respective feelings and deal with them together.

Nothing is more important to me than you and SP and I will spend the rest of my life showing you just how happy you have made me.

I love you xxxxx

15 January, 2006 21:13  
Blogger patroclus chimed in with...

I've spent half the evening crying at the gay cowboy movie, and now I'm crying all over again reading this.

It almost makes me want to have kids of my own. Almost.

15 January, 2006 22:51  
Blogger mig bardsley chimed in with...

Oh. snuffle. Think of children and childrens' children. snuffle some more.
Head towards the kitchen for kitchen roll.
Good wishes to the three of you.

15 January, 2006 23:00  
Blogger Whinger chimed in with...

Oh, Surly. Go on and make me teary then.

My poor unused uterus has been chatty lately about its want for an inhabitant...but I still think it is not to be.

So glad for you, OH, and SP in your lovely life.

16 January, 2006 04:17  
Blogger Fifi chimed in with...

I know it is not the same but you know that my Smallest Minx is available for Auntie Surly whenever she needs her for snuggles, cuddles and general sniffing of talcy baby skin and hair. And if you miss the changing of stinky nappies you are welcome to indulge with those too!
Love you pots and pots xx

16 January, 2006 10:00  
Blogger funny thing chimed in with...

Hey, at least you've done it, matey. Some day you'll be a gran and then you'll get a chance to do the baby stuff without the nighttime vigils.

16 January, 2006 10:35  
Blogger Inexplicable DeVice chimed in with...

That was very beautiful. You made me feel an emotion, damn you!


16 January, 2006 17:41  
Blogger frangelita chimed in with...

V sad - I haven't had one yet. Am always secretly afeared that I might not be able to. That would be horrible. At least you've got one now.

16 January, 2006 22:28  
Anonymous Piggy and Tazzy chimed in with...

Oddly, I thought that was a really nice post.

Somethings wrong with me.

17 January, 2006 01:54  
Blogger Tabby Rabbit chimed in with...

Sorry (bit late - by a few days). Beautiful yet saddening post.

I don't have kids and share Frangelita's (and a number of thirty-something females') worries that I may never get the chance, though I love my life and have very little to grumble about.

SP is lucky to have someone who appreciates her existence so openly - there's a lot of people who don't appreciate their kids.

17 January, 2006 15:09  
Blogger spindleshanks chimed in with...

Lovely post SG and though it was poignant, also uplifting and encouraging - i reckon you and other half have something pretty amazing. and i've missed out on house stuff - you're moving into a house that hasn't been built yet? How exciting!

18 January, 2006 00:18  

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