Another classic car conversation

Mama, what does praying mean?
It means talking to god baby.
But we don’t believe in god, do we?
Well, your father and I don’t, but you can make up your own mind.
I think I believe in god.
OK, what does god mean to you?
I think god is a bit like Alan Jones.
(trying very hard to keep breathing) And why do you say that? Alan Jones isn’t a particularly kind person, is he?
No. Just like god.

Now, mindful that some people I love very much do believe in god, I am hoping you will give me the benefit of the doubt when I assure you that I have never knowingly planted the idea that god was like a shock jock. Although we are atheists, I have always tried to talk about belief in respectful and positive terms, about the comfort that people get from spirituality and community, and the strength that can be drawn from faith. The Alan Jones thing is a bolt from the blue.

Any ideas? Ideally I would like him to have an objective overview of religion so that he can choose his own path, but clearly something is missing!

The proud parents

Aunty Kerry rang this afternoon to remember the boys, and I was reminded of how parents of children who die before or close to the time of birth are rarely afforded congratulations, expressions of joy about how the baby is gorgeous, has a beautiful name, or a head full of gorgeous curls.

Parents who lose a baby (or two) are still parents. We are still passionately in love with our children, we are still proud and enraptured with our offspring.

I hope that this image illustrates that a little.

One final thought for the night. When a parent loses a baby, it is not just an ephemeral potential that is lost. What we lose when a baby dies is the world of possibility, a thousand losses, day by day as we watch others grow, take first steps, hear first words. In another three years their cohort will go to school, and on, and on.

To a parent, that potential is not ephemeral, but rather very concrete indeed.

Not much of a birthday


It is two years today since Archimedes Hare and Aubrey Michael nettle were born. Archie fighting for life, and Aubrey already gone 9 weeks previously.

The first month was like a dream, the next three months like a bad trip. The first year felt like a marathon, continually battling to put one foot in front of the other, using sheer force if will just to keep going, to stay alive. Reaching the first year mark was like climbing Everest, sticking a flag in it and calling it done.

This year has had an entirely different tone. I have accepted that although my loss has changed me, it no longer defines me. Although it was devastating, the life I have built, and the me I have become since losing my twins is worthwhile, and that the resilience I have attained (or discovered) is a great blessing that has come from great loss.

My thoughts about my boys (including my Squishy!) are now more likely to turn to the joy and good fortune of knowing them rather than the pain and devastation of losing them. Or the occasional pains of living with an awesome almost five year old.

I can look at pictures of Archie with love and pride, and joy. And know how lucky I am.