I was downstairs looking for some CDs today and came across a photo album I started on a few years ago...when I had the time and the energy to scrapbook. As I was reminiscing, I came to a page of Kaleb as a baby. I can remember each one of my girls in their newborn and toddler stage.
What I discovered tonight is that I do not remember Kaleb as a baby. I look at the pictures of him, and I don't recognize them. I don't remember them being taken. I don't remember him looking like that. What I remember is being despondent and seeing those pictures almost fills me with despair and regret. When I look at his baby pictures, I am incredibly sad that I can't remember anything but how hard it was to adjust, how he cried all the time, how I never wanted to hold him unless I had to feed him.
I don't remember ever being happy when he was a baby. I don't remember holding him and staring down at him and being overjoyed with this new life God had entrusted to me. I remember feeling cold and indifferent and so alone.
I remember that while I was pregnant with him, I spent a lot of time trying to smile and to hide the fact that I didn't want to be pregnant again so soon. I remember everyone giving us a hard time about me being pregnant again and how difficult it was to pretend to be happy about it when I was dying inside. I remember his birth. I remember just wanting to get it over with and didn't care who was there. I remember seeing him for the first time, holding him on my chest before they took him away to be cleaned and measured--and feeling nothing.
Where was the joy I had felt when Katherine was born? The same joy I would feel with the birth of Abbey and Livvy later? Where was that pride and that awe in the presence of something so profound and incredible as bringing a new life into the world? It wasn't there. What I remember about Kaleb's first year of life fills me with sorrow if I think about it too long. Not guilt...not anymore. Just intense sadness. I look at him and the struggles with him now and I wonder if it is all related. I believe that it is.
I didn't intend to start this and have it turn into such an intense glance back at my son's life. I can't dwell on it. I can't 'deal' with all the emotions that come to surface when I think back. I wish I could go back and undo it. I wish I could remember just one time in his first year of life where I felt something good. It's so sad that I can distinctly remember the first time I loved my son, and it was not until he was about 7 months old. It wasn't instant for me...like it typically is...or like we are told it is supposed to be.
A friend at work has recently introduced me to some new music. There is one song in particular that I can't get out of my head. It is by the band Decyfer Down called "Burn Back the Sun". Below is a link (and the lyrics) to this song. There is a video with the song that I don't really care for; it's the song that touches me...I love the idea of being loved with "passion's quiet rage".
"I take a walk in the bitter cold, I try to see your face, The way it used to be, The sky was never grey, There was a time when I let you in, You turned my night to day, But I turned you away
(Chorus:) Burn back the sun, Bring back the fire once Blazing inside this hollow cage Burn back the sun, You were the only one To love me with passion's quiet rage
I have tasted the apathy, It's bitter on my lips, I am not who I used to be, Betrayal with a kiss, Open arms for the prodigal, You kept the flame alive, You keep this flame alive
(Chorus) Rage, quiet rage"