To the girl with the crocodile tears…

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baby cuddles

I hope you never lose your sensitive spirit.

It’s so hard to see and hear you cry. Especially when you squeeze out those enormous tears. They seem to flow one at a time, sailing calmly down your cheeks as the sound intensifies. Your tiny lungs fill up with air. Your face turns the color of a vine-ripened tomato. And your tears … it’s as if they’re the only calm in the midst of one great big screaming storm.

My heart breaks. I feel your pain. Your sadness. Your anger. Every emotion you express flows from your body straight into mine. Sometimes, I am able to pick you up and peace ensues. But other times, it seems as if you want to be left alone.

It’s your party and you’ll cry if you want to.

As you wish. I’ll leave you to it. But please know that my heart is breaking with every second that passes. Especially in those moments where my efforts to comfort you seem futile. Still, I can’t resist the urge to wipe those big, crocodile tears away from your soft, innocent cheeks — an urge I’ll fulfill for as long as you’ll allow.

I held you in my arms tonight. I held you tightly and never wanted to let you go. You nursed to sleep with your head in the crook of my elbow as the sun began to set and your room began to darken. I held you and began to reflect on the events of last spring. That moment when I heard those dreaded words from the ultrasound tech…

There’s no heartbeat. I’m sorry…”

I wondered how your brother or sister is doing up there in heaven with Jesus and all of the angels. And I remembered this article, which a friend had posted on Facebook earlier this week. A friend who deeply understands the intense pain that comes with the loss of a child. The article addresses women who have experienced the loss of a baby — a timely subject, given that it’s Baby Loss Awareness Week. Several paragraphs down, the author says:

“You secretly weep when you see pregnant women, as it’s a reminder of what you no longer have. However if you envy that woman, it’s always tinged with guilt, as you are acutely aware that she might be one of the one in four — expecting a baby following loss.”

When I read that, I thought to myself, “I have been one of the one in four — expecting a baby after a loss.”

As I continued to rock you back and forth, I looked down at the floor where one of our favorite bedtime stories lay. A book, given to you by your cousin, Alek: God Gave Us You.

God gave us you.

Those words resounded in my head over and over, and I began to weep with gratitude. God gave us you, Indie. I am so. incredibly. thankful.

The gift of motherhood is truly that: a gift. It’s not something I received because I did anything to deserve it. I certainly did nothing to deserve it, and anyone who looks at my past with a magnifying glass might say I deserved to be barren for the rest of my days. But God had mercy on me, and he gifted me with this incredible life. This amazing girl with such a lovely, sensitive spirit who displays her feelings with genuine, crocodile tears.

It breaks my heart — but in a good way.

It breaks my heart in a way that makes me recognize the beauty of your sensitive nature and makes me more aware and sensitive to you and your needs.

It breaks my heart in a way that makes me shed crocodile tears of my own. Tears of joy and thankfulness over the miracle that is you. Tears that express my love for you in ways that words just cannot do.

To the girl with the crocodile tears…

What I wouldn’t give to bottle up every single one and drink them on your 18th birthday. An intoxicating liquid to help me celebrate and cope with the reality that you’ve grown up by bringing back these fleeting moments of pure bliss.

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