“Mom, is January 31st on a Sunday?” my daughter asked.
“Yes,” I answered. “Why do you want to know?”
I already knew why but wanted to hear it in her own words.
“Because it’s Micah’s birthday and I was hoping I don’t have to go to school that day.”
She proceeded to ask if we’d be doing something for her sibling-in-heaven’s birthday like we have in years past.
I assured her we would.
It’s a strange thing to talk about a heaven baby with an earth baby. It’s something I never imagined I’d be doing. Not only because I never thought I’d be one of the women who experienced baby loss, but also because I’ve never really mastered the art of vulnerability.
But, the baby in heaven? Well, he’s not just my baby, but my earth babies’ sibling. Why shouldn’t they have the opportunity to know about this life that is silently woven into the tapestry of our family? Why shouldn’t they have the opportunity to celebrate it as they celebrate each other’s (when they somehow manage to take a break from bickering in the name of candles and cake, that is.)
For me, January 31st is a day to simply honor the life that left my body before setting foot on earth. For my daughter, at least at this point in her life, it’s more about the tradition of treats and balloons typically associated with a celebration, a birthday.
And that’s fine with me. Because what really matters is that she knows a life, no matter how short or in what form, is worthy of being honored and celebrated.
She won’t carry the memory of Micah with her like I do. But I hope in continuing to remember and celebrate his life she’ll carry with her the knowledge of how much that sweet baby mattered.
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