Happy Birthday, Little One

I’m a pragmatic scientist. You all know this. I’m religious, but beyond that, my belief in the woo-woo supernatural of auras and ghosts and spirits and fairies is pretty danged limited. But today, I’m remembering a chapter from a book I read this winter and it’s making me a little happier, and bringing tears to my eyes at the same time. I sobbed at the time, as I read it curled up on the couch under a blanket, and stayed up until all hours trying to finish the book. 

Colin asked, “Are you crying about the baby?” and when I nodded tearfully, he said, “Well, you just have to have another one, Mom, because it’s a Spirit Baby, and you should be its mother.”

I must have looked puzzled because he said, “Don’t you know about Spirit Babies? How could I know about them if you don’t? I mean, you’re my mom!” But he could see my perplexity.

So my first child, this not-yet-teenaged boy, pulled a wooden chair to my side and draped his thin arm across my shoulders, saying, “Well, Mom, here’s how it is. See, I was one myself, so that must be how I know. Anyway, every woman has a circle of babies that goes around and around above her head, and those are all the possible babies she could have in her whole life. Every month, one of those babies is first in line. If she gets pregnant, then that’s the baby that’s born. If she doesn’t get pregnant, the baby goes back into the circle and keeps going around with all the others. If she gets pregnant but something bad happens before the baby’s born…now listen, Mom, because here’s the really cool part. It goes back into the circle, but it becomes a Spirit Baby, and all the other babies give it cuts. Each month, it’s always first in line. Isn’t that great?

“So you just have to get pregnant again, and you’ll have the same Spirit Baby. If you don’t, though, then the baby circle will just beam that little Spirit Baby over to some other woman’s circle, and it’ll be first in line for her. It keeps being first in line somewhere until it finally gets born.

“But it’d be a shame for you not to have it yourself, because I know how much you want it. So you just have to try again. Mom, remember that baby you lost before I was born?” I nodded wordlessly. “Well, that was me. Really. I’ve always known I was a Spirit Baby. I mean, I know what I’m talking about here, Mom.”

From Babycatcher by Peggy Vincent.

Why bring it up today?

The idea that my first little zygote, the little engine that couldn’t-quite, is still around somewhere, and may be born eventually, well, that just comforts my heart in some way. Even though my logical left-brain fully believes that it’s bunk, my heart cherishes the idea that this little flicker of potential will be back, and for now is my Spirit Baby. 

He’s undoubtedly a tough little stinker, as he’s tried twice more to stick in the intervening 8 months, without success.  I hope the fourth time’s the charm, darling little one.  Maybe you were just holding out for a December birthday.  

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