The whole house was all mine yesterday evening. Solitude and time alone in my house all to myself is a very rare thing. In the middle of doing laundry and getting the dishwasher loaded and doing some more organizing in the will-be nursery, I cracked open Jake's baby book and got started writing some things down.
Is it funny that I've already started calling him Jake? I'm not sure if the nickname will stick or not, but it's been fun to dream about our second little boy.
I did a baby book for Tommy too. Since I gave up scrapbooking, I wanted to have something for both of the boys to have when they are older of what they were like as babies. What our thoughts were as parents as they grew. So many things are hard to remember unless you write them down.
It's not just baby books though. I have letters I've written to Tommy on every birthday - and I plan on doing that for Jake too. I have Christmas ornaments I get every year - one for me and for him. I have keepsakes and drawings and little mementos that I wanted to save. Things I don't want to forget - and things I want them to know when they're grown men.
Honestly, I'm not sure how much my boys will appreciate or care about the ornaments and baby books and letters that I'll leave behind for them to save. Men are so much different than women, especially when it comes to sentiments and keepsakes. But, I realized last night as I was writing my thoughts down for my second son on what it was like to know that I was pregnant again, that I was really doing this for me.
Because my mom died when I was 18, everything that I have of hers is precious to me. Every old letter, every picture, every small thing that once belonged to her - all of it is priceless. But I feel like I don't have much. Most of what I have is memory and stories told by others. I always wished I had more of her left with me here, and I don't. I have found myself telling people, that one of the reasons that I keep a blog is so that my children will have a piece of my heart that will always be with them. Unless the internet dies, my blog will always be there. My thoughts and my heart and my story will accessible for them to read and know. If something ever happens to me, it would be as if I could still leave something for them to have of me in my absence.
The baby books and blog writing and memento saving - a lot of that is part of my grieving and what living without my mom looks like. It's how I cope with loss and live with that ache. I know what it's like to be without a parent and if my boys should ever be without me someday, I want them to have as much of me left behind as I could possibly leave for them.
And while everything is really for them - I do it for me. I do it for my motherless heart. I do it for my own mother's heart. I do it because I need to, because I must. It fills up an empty space inside of me somehow.