Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Packing to move

Over the past two weeks, we've been collecting boxes for our move. Moving away from the house where Toby had lived and died in is the hardest move I have ever done. We have since lived in two other houses. (The first one because we needed something temporary until we could find something back in Sam's school district and the second to come back to the area so that he could attend school while we looked for a place to buy.)

I had already packed up most of Toby's things when we found out that we had to move from the house he had lived in. He had been gone for almost eight months at that point and Iris was getting ready to arrive so the majority of his things had been packed. Still, it felt rushed. I couldn't imagine how it would have felt if our landlord had decided to take over our house a month or even a few weeks after he died. I probably would have had a bigger meltdown than I did.

Now, as we pack to move again, I have had to re-sort through his things. We decided to use his room decorations as the decorations for our office so that he could still have a room in our house. We never unpacked those in the house we're living in now so they're still in the box I originally put them in. That box has broken down a little over time and it became necessary to transfer them to something else.

Looking at all of his little sailboats and nautical ornaments has made me sad. He never got to enjoy those. He never got to enjoy his bedroom much. We used it to change him in and once Pete put him in his bed for a few minutes. (I wasn't there.) We kept his clothes in there. He slept in a cradle in our office, though, and we had a spare bed in there as well, so that we can also lay down and take a nap if we got tired. This is the room Toby died in. While we had spent a lot of time decorating and buying things for his room, he never got to enjoy them. That makes me sad.

Once I got pregnant with Iris, and we picked out her bedroom furniture (crazily expensive but I loved it) people criticized me, as people will do. It was too expensive! Why did I need to buy new things?! It was crazy to spend that much money on a baby! (To be clear, I never posted the price of the furniture set, but in my excitement I posted a link to it and people were able to see it that way...) And then, of course, it became things like: why does she need so many clothes, she'll just grow out of them quickly! You get the picture.

Shopping for Iris was the best part of my pregnancy. I WANTED to go into baby stores. I WANTED to shop. I WANTED to buy little outfits and room decorations and bottles. Not only did it help me bond with her before she got here, but it helped me with my depression. I was looking forward to buying Toby toys and watching him play with them and wearing cute clothes and developing interests in certain cartoons and animated figures so that I could buy them too. And that was taken away from me. And when I found out about Iris, although I couldn't do those things for Toby anymore, I could at least do them for her. (And that was kind of like doing them for him.) At one point, when someone was particularly rude to me, I said, "The last thing I was able to buy for my baby was a casket. I'm happy that I now get to buy a crib."

I'll be glad when we close on our house and I can get his little things back out again. Sam doesn't remember Toby. That makes me sad, but it might also be for the best. For a long time, Sam equated babies with death. We mention Toby to him from time to time and I try to bring up happy memories for him, but he's not interested. I won't force it. If he asks me about him when he's older, we will talk.  Of course, Iris never met him at all (unless they met in passing somewhere along the way). But sometimes when I put a sleeper on her that had belonged to him I'll tell her that it was Toby's and she will laugh, so maybe she knows what I am saying. We have no idea what we're going to tell her about him. In the meantime, I look forward to having his sailboats on our wall again, so that he has a place in our house, as well as in our hearts.

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