I’ve fallen into some of my old ways. When Charlie was a baby, I subsisted on cable television as a way to pass days that were filled mostly with bottle washing and baby feeding.
Things aren’t a whole lot different with the twins only I like going out even less, and I don’t have cable, so I’m using Netflix to keep myself entertained. I’ve been watching Mad Men on DVD and Cheers on streaming. Mad Men isn’t really kid appropriate, and while I know that the twins aren’t watching it, I still try to have it on only when they’re sleeping.
The other day the show was on, I was working on a random craft project, and a scene came on with a coffin. At that very moment, Louis decided he was hungry and began wailing at the top of his lungs. I ran over with a bottle and as I picked him up I was muttering the silliness that you do when you’re talking to babies. From nowhere I cooed, “are you upset about that boy who died? don’t be. It’s just a TV show”
I said it unthinkingly, but as the words left my mouth, I braced for the wave to hit me–the wave that reminds me that my little one knows more about death than he should. A nagging reminder of a past you’d rather forget.
But I looked at Louis’s sweet face and remembered–he knows nothing about it. His short life has been largely uneventful. His greatest pains have been heel pricks; his hardest moments were hunger. Death has never hovered over his bedside; he’s never lost a compatriot in the battle for his life.
He is innocent of those things–free from the shadows that can lurk and the memories they cause. He is just a baby who knows nothing about the darkest parts life.
And the wave did come, but it wasn’t what I expected. It was gratitude. I am so grateful that this baby hasn’t experienced that, thankful for the ease that life has provided him thus far.