To know I am being treated as I am for who I am, not for what I've been through.
I feel more readily able to compartmentalize personal from professional, keep my heart from being worn on my sleeve, keep my work from following me home too much, and I think this new environment is the reason for it. And, well, as a mom to one twin in my arms and one twin in my heart, the art of compartmentalization is something I've become particularly skilled at.
It's just a really nice change having a new position.
I may have said this before, but I'll say it again. After baby loss, most people do something drastic. To maybe mark what happened. To maybe "deal" with what happened. To try and survive what happened.
Take an exotic vacation (but we have no $ to do that).
Move to a new city (but we LOVE where we live - the people, the city, the weather).
Have an affair or get a divorce (but we still love each other, so no thanks).
Have another baby right away (but...just...no. For so many reasons, I couldn't do that right away.)
Get a tattoo (which is what my husband did).
Make all new friends and let go of the old ones (Okay, so I've done a little of that, deleted 300 people off of FB and am much more selective about who I let "in" to my real life, but I still have a few of my old friends, the real ones who care to invest the time and energy into getting to know the new me. They are few and far between, but they're gold, and they know who they are).
Get a new job (Ding ding ding ding ding!!! Winner winner, chicken dinner!).
(Loss moms am I forgetting anything on this list???)
So I'm not sure how much attention I can give this space as I enter this new chapter of my life. But I can't bring myself to shut it down. I still need it. Yes, need. And that's what keeps it here.
* * * * *
People have been asking me how I've been doing with the whole neighbor-who-has-twins-thing. I feel so blessed to have people who care enough to read something on my blog and check in with me in real life (although most of the people in my real life don't know this space even exists, which is mostly just how I like it).
Amazingly, or not-so-amazingly, I'm kind of okay. I say not-so-amazingly because really it shouldn't bother me so much to see twins. I mean they are everywhere. I have twins in my family, I have friends that are twins, I have friends that have twins, I have students that are twins, and I will never forget that I am a mother to twins, even if society doesn't consider that to be the case.
I will admit that it helped immensely to find out that the babies in that candy-apple-red stroller are twin boys and not boy / girl twins. I can't tell you enough how much that just helped me "cope", if you can even call it that. I had my initial freak-out when I saw the woman with that double stroller, I had my angry and bitter moments when I kept seeing her repeatedly, and then I had the rational realization that since I live right by the park this was bound to happen and not something that God / The Fates / The Universe was plotting against me.
I don't want her babies. I just miss my Elias.
And honestly, I miss him so much more than I miss that "twin experience".
He is so much more than double strollers and matchy outfits and "built in best friends" and all the other things that society pushes on our culture about twins. To even have fixated on any of that stuff, even for a minute, just seems to lessen his worth somehow or cheapen his wonderful individual soul that I never got the privilege of getting to know outside of gestating him. I hope he can forgive me for that, because I'm having trouble forgiving myself. All this time I have been celebrating Evelyn's individuality while still grieving the loss of "twins", not realizing that I should have just been grieving Elias, that the other stuff really doesn't even matter when you really think about it.
I'm getting there.