There is a bible college in our small town. I love this bible college. I have no idea what a difference this bible college is to our town. How they pray and serve the community in big and small ways is a true blessing.
One way they have blessed our community for the past 3 years is through a free winter carnival. It is in the gymnasium and they have free carnival games the kids can go to and win candy or small prizes. It's a blast!
We have gone every year. The first year Eva was a small baby in a car seat. Mike and I got mixed up and I got mad at him as I waited in the van and he waited inside. Last year Eva was dead. I walked through that entire carnival with a scowl and felt so.incredibly.sad the entire time. All those firsts without your child are enough to send you to an institution. I.just.could.not smile. I couldn't believe how people could smile and laugh when, didn't they know, our daughter was dead. On top of it A was there pushing her newborn baby around in his carseat and it was so painful to see him there. Snoozing away.
This year I am, physically, feeling great. I know I looked pretty good yesterday. Not in a supermodel kind of way but in a happy mom kind of way, cheering my kids on as they threw beanbags at buckets. A was there again and the avoidance wasn't so palpable to me. Maybe because I'm just done with it. I didn't care that she didn't say hello. And for the first time in a year I didn't put myself out there and say hello to her, hoping for who knows what...I just carried on and had a good-enough time.
I thought of people who might look at me and see this 'happy' mom with her kids and how the picture that we are is so deceiving. We look complete. We look like a nice happy family and mom is obviously pregnant. And I wonder how many other people are walking around broken but looking whole. How many other families are hiding the hurt behind their smile? Because I know they're there.
And yet, this year was unfathomably better than last year. I could hold an idle conversation with another mom and I could focus on the kids I have with me more than on just the one that is missing...although I did get a pink balloon for my little princess. Just to have. For no reason other than she would have had one if she was there...and she was...in my heart.
Regarding why I feel good physically I want to do a shout out to Trim Healthy Mama by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett for helping me to be this healthy. I have only gained about 5 pounds this entire pregnancy (and I am 34 weeks). I definitely had the weight to lose and I know I am having fewer mood swings than before. Even though this pregnancy has been a roller coaster of emotions it feels like my physical health has been holding up my emotional health.
And I am thankful.