I was straightening up the family room this morning after Tom left for work--there just seemed to be stacks of crap everywhere. I grabbed the copy of What to Expect to put back on the bookshelf and two pieces of paper fluttered to the floor. One was the warranty registration for Nate's stroller and the other was the list of names I had made when we found out we were having a boy. Back when things were completely, totally normal. The list was written in blue pin and beside about ten of the names was my husband's check mark in pencil to mark his favorites. I had written the name and then in parentheses I wrote what we'd actually call him (unless he was in trouble, that's when we'd use the whole name.)
The three at the top were:
All three had my husband's check mark.
I just sat there this morning and stared at that list. I hadn't seen it since I stuck it between those pages, which was probably quite awhile before Nate was even born. I'm sure that I just stuck it there and forgot about it. But here it was again. A list of names that every pregnant woman in the universe writes out with so much love for that baby inside and so much hope for his future. This is a very important task--he will have that name for his whole life long and someday, years and years from now, it will be carved on his headstone. When we named Nathaniel, I felt confident that he would have a name that would carry him through his life--it was a name that he could run for president with. My little boy with the big boy name.
And so, after crying in the fetal position in the recliner for twenty minutes, I got dressed and went downtown to pick up a copy of Nate's birth certificate for this year's taxes, because you know, I was in great shape to do something like today. But I had to go do it--taxes are due-what?-next week or something and I've been putting this off for a long time. I'm thankful that I'm able to have one for Nate, but I knew that it was going to be very difficult to go and get it. That's why I hadn't done it yet. When I received the certificate, it looked totally normal, just like any one I've ever seen and I was glad for that. His certificate looked just like any baby's--but then I looked in the upper right hand corner where the word DECEASED was written in block capitals. Oh.
I'm sobbing again as I walk through the lobby to the parking lot and to my car. Oh shit. I had just calmed down from the last incident and here I go again. When I reach the door to my car, I look into the passenger seat of the car parked next to me and on the seat lay a newborn diaper and a picture of a very pregnant, very young woman smiling broadly, her arms wrapped around her belly. Really. Why both of those things? I guess I could see having a diaper there, but why a picture of your pregnant self? I guess that will teach me not to look in other people's cars.
Now I'm going to go to the grocery store and pray that I don't run into anyone from my childbirth class.