I tell myself the same thing I tell all the new dbm's. That it is only scary the first time. The first time it hurts so bad you think your heart will explode. The second time? Oh, it still hurts, but you've learned what you can live through. I tell myself this.
Taste of Edmonton, in 2007 was the first place Mr. Spit and I realized what it was to be pregnant. It was the first place, as a pregnant woman and her partner, that we looked at parents and said "we will never". It wasn't the only place, it wasn't the only time that my stomach refused food, or that I suddenly gagged, it wasn't the only time we were part of the pregnant club, but it was the first place. The first time.
And when I went last year, last year when I should have been going with a 4 month old infant, I will not lie, it hurt. Not in the way it hurts to watch a baby be baptized, or hear parents complain about their kids, but in that vague way, the collision of what should have been and what is. And I told myself not to look at the babies, not to look at the parents, not to imagine, and never to look at a child who should have been Gabriel's age. It was not soul ripping, but it stung. Oh my, it stung. It was a time and place where what should have been and what were, were so terribly close to each other, that I couldn't not help but believe that there was a couple there, like us, who went home with their baby.
So this year, this year I was looking for visible signs of progress. To tell the truth, I was looking for it not to bother me. That was progress to my mind. If it hurt last year, it should not bother me this year.
And it did. Of course it did. Of course I cannot enjoy this the way I did. And out of the event, I can take a deep breath and tell myself the truth, that enjoyment will come in new and different ways. That maybe I will always remember, particularly, at this event, those first few days that Gabe and I had together, what was the genesis of our little family, even if there is nothing left to show for it.
And I can tell myself, now that I have my breath back, to have a cup of coffee in my back yard, and enjoy what is, and not let the pain and sorrow of what was crowd out joy.
Joy is a choice, and again today, I will chose it.