Dangit look at how little and squishy Watson was only eleven months ago. Makes me mad! Ha ha. At least he’s still squishy I guess. I’ve been wanting to blog but haven’t because I’ve struggled figuring out this tricky new dynamic with Watson here and still missing his older twin brothers so badly. But instead of delaying posting any longer with more excess thinking, I’m just going to simply type how I feel!
I still think about and ache for Shepard and Deacon every single day, and I know in my heart that will never ever change. It’s been almost two years now (feels like two minutes), and while I wouldn’t say the pain has gone away in any measurable way, at least it’s leveled out in a sense. It’s just there all the time, it’s not a crazy roller coaster of ups and downs full of emotions that I can’t control anymore, but it’s like all the highs and lows I felt constantly have at least joined together to create one more manageable level of sadness in me.
Like now I can (at least sometimes) say their names out loud with only a few tears sneaking out instead of a flood of them. I can tell people I have six boys when asked how many kids I have and with only a small quiver when I explain two of them are in heaven. I was finally able concentrate long enough without giving myself a literal heartache to design and order their precious little shared headstone.
And it makes sense to me really, why wouldn’t the fact that we don’t have all of our boys with us on earth disrupt our otherwise happy hearts? It’s like when you leave your kids and luckily sneak away on a trip with just your hubs, you’re happy together and loving life, but you can’t help but feel at least a little unsettled inside going to sleep at night without all of your little ones tucked under the same roof as you. We are of course blessed to know our twin boys are happy, safe, well taken care of and at peace, but trying to convince my heart it’s okay having my children in two separate realms seems impossible at best and against the very nature of my makeup as their mother. My heart is in a tug of war, and that’s its constant struggle. I want to be with Shepard and Deacon just as much as I want to be with Van, Boston, Baker and Watson, and the result of it is a perpetual level of unsettled heartache that it’s just grown accustomed to having.
And that’s okay, because love can be felt and shown through yearning for loved ones just as much as it can be felt and shown through hugs and kisses. And I desperately need to express my love for all six of my boys! Sometimes we feel pressure that we need to be ‘okay’ with where Shepard and Deacon are because of the knowledge we are blessed with to know they are truly in a better place than this often-painful earth, and we are at peace with this fact, but it simply doesn’t mean that our hearts don’t also feel a million other emotions for them. The human heart is truly incomprehensible to me sometimes in its ability to make room for both.
As for Watson, oh man does he ever bring happiness into this home! We’ve finally found some silver lining from losing the twins, and it’s getting to experience the miracle of a baby again. Words cannot describe the awe that we feel with Watson. He doesn’t seem real to us half the time, even after months of having him. He’s a greater miracle in our eyes than even our first baby Van ever was. The fact that the growth of our family didn’t stop with the twins is still dumbfounding to me. Every little part of Watson literally brings a smile to my face. I can’t get over his chubby thighs, and his blue eyes, and how ridiculously fun it is to dress him up. He gives us a reason to have diapers in the house! And a crib, and swaddle blankets and onesies and all the baby things we’d collected for the twins and didn’t get to use. And I literally love spending money on the kid. I’m just so dang thankful to have a baby and a reason to shop for little tiny things that when I find something cute for him, I can’t think of one good reason why he shouldn’t have it!
The ways in which our family is blessed by Watson is endless, he mesmerizes us and I sometimes wonder why the entire world doesn’t stop in his presence just to witness the little baby miracle that he is! I truly can’t believe that he didn’t pass away prematurely. It may sounds insane but the fact that he was born at 37 weeks healthy and just came home with us still bewilders me. They call babies after loss rainbow babies, and it’s truly a wonderful way to describe these little humans who come to earth to grieving families and allow us to have the privilege of caring for and loving them.
And that’s exactly what it is, a privilege. I’m so acutely aware of how blessed we are to have Watson in this house, that I can’t help but think (a lot) of other families who have lost babies and then haven’t been able to have their little rainbow baby yet. I often feel guilty for being given Watson especially with the three oldest boys we all ready have. It just seems cruel to me, and my prayers are often filled with pleas that that these families will be blessed with a baby of their own. Because even though Watson hasn’t taken away the hurt we feel over missing Shepard and Deacon, he still quite simply fills our empty arms.
There’s nothing like having a baby in the family! They are these lovable, adorable, giant-eyed innocent little ones that even the cutest older brothers can’t compare to! And even amidst the sadness we will always have and feel, you can’t deny the happy endorphins that spread throughout your body while rocking a sleepy babe with heavy eyes asleep in your arms. He gives us more reasons to be happy in the day than we had before, and having those extra happy feelings sure help soften the sadness on a daily basis. I’m positive those extra happy feelings help temper the sad ones, and is one of the main reasons why instead of so many extreme highs and lows, it’s just a more manageable level of emotions we deal with now. He’s grounded us again after it felt like we couldn’t get off the roller coaster regardless of how bad we wanted to.
And then there’s the fact that he’s a doubled-edged (albeit chubby) sword. One I’m happy to have regardless of course, but everything about him reminds us so much of the twins. By far the hardest part of having Watson has been the reminder of not only the infinite blessings of having a baby in our home, but again what was lost with the opportunity of possibly experiencing two identical babies in our family together. I can’t count the amount of times I think to myself, ‘the only possible thing on this earth that could ever be better than our baby Watson is two baby Watsons.”
I see how much fun his older brothers have with him and have to wonder what it would have been like with two little chubs sitting there laughing at their crazy big-headed bro Baker. I decorate his room and wish I was figuring out how to fit another little crib in there. I arrange his clothes and dress him with so much satisfaction I can’t help but think of the fun I could be having dressing two babies who otherwise look exactly alike. I see how handsome and similar my boys look and can’t help but think of the miracle of having two handsome boys identical in every way. I don’t see how our whole lives we won’t often look at Watson and feel of the happiness he’s brought us and think if only there were two. The only thing that could be better than one baby is two, nothing better than a cute wobbly toddler except two cute identical wobbly toddlers. Only thing better than an adorable 5 year-old excited for kindergarten could be two identical 5 year-olds excited for kindergarten. Two handsome 8 year-olds getting baptized, two identical grads, playing on the same sports teams. Two twin return missionaries! It’s a painful paradigm that plays daily in our lives that we steadily have to learn to manage.
But truly, it’s elementary our dear Watson! You are a miracle sent to us straight from Heavenly Father’s and your old brothers’ arms, that much I know.