The ties that bind can cut so deep
I’m feeling the twinge. I thought it had gone.
This week a good friend of mine and her husband welcomed their second child into the world. I’m so incredibly overjoyed for them and at the same time I feel the twinge. The twinge that reminds me we’re unlikely to stand in their place.
You know what we went through to have our daughter and how hard we’ve tried for a brother or sister for her, and how we’ve stopped really trying now. And despite some wobbles I’ve made peace with it, really I have. Whatever will be, will be, and all that. But when a new life twinkles into being so close to us I still get that uterine pull. That ache. That twinge.
Until yesterday it was only an issue for the two of us, the husband and I. We’ve shielded Curly Girl from our struggles and she’s frankly been too young to know what was going on. But yesterday, at the grand old age of two years and two months, she started to understand the dynamics of a family.
Picture the scene; at the playground, two mothers push their toddlers on the swings. A family scene reflected in its symmetry.
Until a sister arrives from school.
“Sisters.” My daughter says thoughtfully.
“Yes, that’s right.” I reply, a little stab of concern growing in my gut.
“I don’t have a sister.” She states.
“No, you don’t.” I reply, my heart cracking straight down the middle.
“Just me and Mummy.” She says as if to clarify.
My little toddler is starting to make sense of family relationships, of the ties that bind and support us, that frustrate and delight us. The generations that came before and will come after us. She is exploring these relationships in her own straight-forward way. But in that moment, yesterday, the cut that had started to heal was laid as bare and exposed as a fresh wound.