I don’t do well with kids that are the age Noah should be. I feel like people think I should be over that by now. I’m not. Hearing a kid is two and a half is like a knife in the heart. And the kids I know we’re born/due the same week or month Noah was due? It guts me.
But I mostly do ok. I see them, I vaguely interact with them, and I don’t run away sobbing. Usually. But today… Today crossed a line.
There is a mom in my town who was due three days after me. Three days. We aren’t friends, but it’s a small town. I know her, she knows me. And we see each other.
It started like any regular day. I was at the farmers market and playground with Sam. She was there with J. Her little boy the same age that Noah should be.
And then I look over – he is in my stroller.
My stroller. That Owen used. That Sam uses. That Noah never got to use. In my fucking stroller.
I waited for her to get him out. She just stood there while he sat and ate his snack. For several minutes, he sat in my stroller and she watched. And I watched.
Then I couldn’t take it. We didn’t really have to leave for another 10 minutes, but I couldn’t take it. I picked up Sam, walked over and said “we need to go.”
She got him out, I put Sam in, and we walked away, by the time I got to the car I was sobbing. I sobbed all the way home.
My friends mostly don’t seem to get it. They are fixated on the fact that you don’t let your kid sit in someone else’s stroller without asking. Which sure. It’s rude, and weird, and WTF?
But it was a little boy Noah’s age. It felt like rubbing in my face everything I’ve lost. Everything I should have. I try not to say why me? You don’t want it to be your kid that dies, but you don’t want it to be theirs either. But Fuck. It was too much. I know other kids his age exist. I try to be nice. I try not to begrudge the fact that their son is alive and mine isn’t. But fuck.