The truism that grief pops up out of nowhere every so often is, well, true.
Two days ago, I was sitting outside, knitting, and one of the kids came out with Duncan. I glanced up and over at him, and the exact angle his fat little foot was at for some reason put me in mind of Psalm and her thin, small foot, and I almost cried.
I play with Marie's feet and Doug's feet and they are long and thin. They have their dad's feet. Mine are wide. I remember Psalm's foot, how it was turned to the side. I remember touching her little foot. There was so much of the tragedy of her life wrapped up in that one foot. When Duncan was born, I cupped his feet in my hand and held them up to Erik and said "Look! He has two feet!" The newborn ritual of counting toes takes on new significance when you have had cause to stop early.
I will never see her foot get fat. Will never see it tucked behind her as she crawls, will never see it and its twin stomp the floor as she learns to walk. I am seeing Duncan do all the things she was never able to do, and I wonder whether she is watching her baby. Whether she is cheering him on. He walked early, he talked early. I think maybe she is right there, whispering in his ear, making it so that he is halfway ahead of himself. He surely has love for two people, happiness for two people. He will know how much his big sister must love him, because her love for her whole family was so fierce that she fought her brokenness to be born to us. He will know that losing her made me love him more. I have two babies' worth of kisses to give him.