The ol’ Tumblr account reveals a brave mask in January. I don’t remember what it felt like to mother in my son’s 13th month. Primarily I remember feeling desperately sad, heart-broken, and in denial that our marriage was over. The grief of loving and bearing children with an unavailable man lasts.
Here’s something somewhat taboo, I went back for several complicated reasons but the reason I recall feeling the strongest was I have to go get Salamander’s sibling. I knew in my bones that he was not meant to be an only-child. There is very little rational thought in that knowing. I did not intend to dupe, or “milk” the man I wished would be with me. I did not think it would fix our relationship. It was a direct, clear line. Salamander is not an only child. On top of that knowing and faith were the complex mess of my own emotions. But that one, it was practically like a commandment. Madrigal had to be made. She was coming for us.
Salamander walked a few days before he turned one. He walked into his grandpa’s arms. I imagine the bitterness of missing your son’s first steps… Salamander ate his first cake at his first party and had his first Christmas.
I have realized, and accepted, that raising my kids in this particular family situation will always be hard in its ways. It’s easy for me to indulge in the dramatic suffering aspect. But for my family. They supported us, made a Christmas for us, gathered baby materials for us, threw us a party. They loved us, unconditionally, and I will never outgrow that blessing. Fortunately neither will these children.