Thursday, 29 December 2016
Room to grow
For more than a year the door remained closed.
His bed, unmade since he slept in it last. A bib in the hamper. A plastic bag labelled chemotherapy on the dresser, with a couple water-filled syringes inside.
We couldn't bring ourselves to do anything with it.
With a baby girl on the way, we knew we'd have to sometime. That sometime was this week, a couple days after Christmas.
Angie has been one of Trish's best friends through all of this. We met her family in hospital when their daughter, around the same age as Dominic, was diagnosed with leukemia. She's doing great now and every once in a while Angie will pay us a visit, driving three hours from Calgary and staying a day.
Those days, we're at our most productive. Art projects get finished. Unused medical supplies get divvied up and sent back to hospital families. And this week, the door to the room is opened.
Angie showed up and within a half hour they were in the room, going through his old clothes to decide what was gender-neutral enough to put in the keep pile, what could be donated and what needed to stay (because you never know...). The first pile turned out to be pretty small, though Angie and I did insist we keep the Darth Vader pajamas. And the light sabre. Duh.
You'd think going through the room would require a couple boxes of Kleenex, but no. It felt good to see the room transform, and thanks to a donation from Rae, a friend in Medicine Hat, it really does feel different now. Her twins had a ladybug-themed room and she gave all of it to us. Combined with the original idea that the top half of the room was blue like the sky and the bottom green like the grass, the resulting motif is nature. Trish wanted me to paint it for a while but - Angie to the rescue again - it got voted down.
It's amazing how much stuff was in there. We've got three bags' worth of clothes and sheets and stuffed animals to give away. That's after we chose plenty to keep. The same sort of thing happened a year ago when Trish and I went through all of the toys. You keep the best stuff knowing you'll inevitably acquire a lot more.
I envision some day out with our baby girl when we recognize an old outfit of Dom's on some other child as we pass. Will it feel odd? Will we smile or cry? Maybe we'll laugh. Maybe all three.
The door is open now. We can see right in to the crib from our bedroom across the hall. The baby monitor is ready, the light is a dim pink, and the bed is made.
She's healthy as can be according to our doctor and the monthly ultrasounds. Sideways, which may require another C-section, but a strong heartbeat and kicking like nobody's business according to mom.
Another couple months. We're ready to meet her.