A gaggle of geese return to our street each winter
while migrating from one place to another.
They arrive in January, around my husband’s birthday,
and I am surprised to find them behind our house,
honking like cab drivers in traffic. Most leave with
babies but one pair can’t manage to have any;
I’ve watched them sit for years on a wet nest of death,
warming unhappiness. It is only when the other
geese swim past them, proudly displaying
a line of live chicks, that they realize they have
failed again, their eggs silent beneath the love
of their feathers. My neighbors and I don’t agree
on much but we all watch these geese from our
windows, with binoculars sometimes, our breakfast
growing cold on the table. We wish the unsuccessful
ones would have a season of luck, their eggs healthy
and well placed, for each of us has known the pleasure
of spring, the way it feels for something closed
to open: the soft, heavenly weather of arrival.
“Geese” by Faith Shearin from Moving the Piano.
For nearly eight years, my husband and I have been the “unsuccessful ones”, our “silent eggs” s.t.i.l.l. beneath the weighty love of expectant feathers. We have looked upon the happiness of countless friends and loved ones. We have cried tears of joy with them. And have tried to see ourselves not as passed over or less fortunate, but as richly blessed…in ways meant only for us. Parts of our journey were heartrending, others life giving, but all have contributed to our present moment: five weeks away from parenthood and a complete and utter shift in life as we know it.
During this sacred time, an inward turn was necessary. Instead of sharing the threads of my heart in this space, I’ve shared them, both written and spoken, with my child. I have pondered who I am becoming and how that person seems both foreign and familiar. I have imagined our new normal. I have hoped. Prayed. And I have embraced a running current of gratitude for that which we don’t yet have.
As part of the loss community, the elusive happy ending is never far from one’s thoughts, but my mantra over these past eight months has been:
I haven’t wanted to get ahead of myself.
So I’ve stayed.
In my absence, many of you have reached out in love, concern, and friendship. Please know how deeply your sentiments are felt and how grateful I am for your affection and connection.
As any new parent, I’m unsure what the coming weeks and months will bring (and equally unsure what this space will become–bear with me on that, please). I simply (or not so simply) hope to be both the mother I’ve envisioned and the mother baby M so richly deserves.