Today is Rainbow Baby Day. Now, perhaps if I had a baby that lived after Gabriel I might be more of a fan, although I don’t think so.
(This is a good time for an aside. I think for some people the idea of Rainbow Baby day is a comfort. If so, I’m glad. You aren’t wrong. I’m not right. This probably isn’t the post for you. Go have a coffee or a tea and come back another day).
I notice this year’s meme has some mention of the women (and why is it always women?) who had to go find silver linings in other clouds or clouds that didn’t bring us joy or some such crap.
In the days after Gabe died, and then as another 4 babies died, I didn’t want the promise of a rainbow. I wanted to see someone like me. I wanted to see a woman who didn’t ever have another baby and I wanted to know if she was ok. If she was happy.
If she lived a life out of the shadow of someone else’s rainbow if she went and found her own damn sunbeam.
There were women – Loribeth chief among them – who did.
Women who taught me that it’s not either or. There’s a sunbeam if you go and find it. There’s also shadow. Ever aware that we so very nearly lived another life, we turn our faces toward the sun, and we still see the shadow. We remember the rain.
So no, it’s not a rainbow. It’s not sunshine and unicorns and pots of gold. It’s hard and sad and joyous. It’s not the reflected glory of a slightly different life without someone you wanted. It’s a radically different life on an entirely different path.
It’s still a good life. I suppose it’s a sign of the times, but twice on twitter in the last week, I have wished someone luck as they started IVF. I have gently told them that I hoped it worked and I would be delighted to knit for a baby. I’ve also said that if if it didn’t work, that it was ok to not have a baby. Not what you planned, but there was room for a good and wonderful life.
So, if you are me, like I was 10 years ago, don’t settle for the silver lining in everyone else’s cloud.
Go find your own sunbeam.
It’s worth it.