I am a mother.
I am a mother, and when I think of being a mother, I think of both of my children--Miles and Elliott.
And I say this in a factual way, not a sad, guilty, or sentimental way: For Miles, I felt like I was being the best mother I could possibly be--and it wasn't enough. For Elliott, I feel like I am doing my best yet never have that feeling of being the best mother I could possibly be--yet it's enough. And all of that leaves me feeling like there's no sense in the world. And I feel grateful and sad.
I fill my days with Elliott now. Smiling at her smile, laughing at her laugh, singing to her in the kitchen, holding my breath during nap time that she'll keep sleeping longer than 45 minutes this time. And I carry her around the apartment, catching glimpses of my Miles in our photographs. I think of him and smile. I think of him and the lump in my throat grows as I wish he were here as well. And now I see Elliott look at his photograph, too. And I think, how long until she knows, too, what we're missing?