Friday, March 07, 2008

Here, at the end of my bed.

Thoughts from the hospital: Day 3

He's here at the end of my bed, and I feel like I have been mended. Mended of a missing piece that felt like it had been torn from me. There are only so many ways to describe the sense of separation. A baby born; A baby taken away. If you have ever walked the fields and heard an ewe bleating after a lost lamb, you may gain some insight.

I remember wandering in Wales. Aidan and I found ourselves crossing a stone-littered pasture. A persistent, and heartbreaking, sound assaulted our ears. One sheep, among so many, was bleating piteously after something. Aidan noticed that she stood apart from the other sheep, alone at one end of the field. "She can't find her lamb." Sure enough, the other sheep had offspring, in ones and twos, frolicking about their legs. Quiet familial gatherings. But the mother on her own--no lamb at her feet--she was pronouncing her lostness to the world. Calling and calling and calling for what was missing. We walked slowly across the field, hoping to hear her quiet. Knowing that her silence would indicate a reunion. But the silence never came. She kept calling out her need to find what was lost.

That mother, on that day, suffered more than me. My baby wasn't lost. I knew where to find him, who was caring for him and why. But where he was, was just too far away. The long hallway between us separated us by more than 25 doorways. An unnatural rift in the normalcy of everyday happenings had been established: Eating cereal, looking out the window, climbing into bed... It was as though he and I were connected by an invisible thread that was stretched far too thin--snagging and growing tangled around all of the things we were meant to be doing side-by-side.

I have him now. He is here, at the end of my bed and I feel mended. Where I go, he goes. What he needs, I can now try and give him. I think of that mother calling across the pasture and hope she was quieted, not by despair or weariness, but by the sight of a little white lamb making it's way back to her across the field.