Thursday, April 26, 2012

Uncharted Territory

I lost custody of my Firstborn when she was three years old. It was a nasty and bitter divorce and custody battle. A fight that I lost not because of poor parenting, but because of a poor financial situation, a pack of lies and a lack of visible support in the courtroom. My ex only permitted to see her a few times over the next year and then visitation was stopped all together. It was devastating.

I literally lost my mind. I missed her so much it physically hurt. Most of all I missed being a mom.

Then came The Big One. She saved me more than she will ever know. She helped to fill a void that had been empty for 9 years. She brought back that little piece of me that died when I packed up my Firstborn and handed her over to her dad.

For the last three years I have constantly compared her development, temperament, and personality to my Firstborn. I have been in awe of the similarities and at times dumbfounded at the significant differences. My firstborn was the easiest baby. She only cried if she was hungry and even then it was but a whimper. The Big One cried constantly for the first three months. Both were early walkers the Big One at 8 months, my Firstborn at 9. My Firstborn would play quietly by herself or watch a movie for hours. The Big One needs a constant companion and hates movies- she prefers 15 minute programs. They both love to dance.

Now I find myself in uncharted territory. From this point on I have no point of reference. Sadly, I do not know what kind of child my firstborn was after the age of three. I have no idea where she went to preschool or how she celebrated her fourth birthday. I have no idea how her first day of kindergarten was. From this point on I will not know if my Firstborn and The Big One are the same or different, and that makes me sad. Very sad.

Not only do I have no point of reference, but every passing milestone with The Big One will just reinforce everything that I have missed with my Firstborn. When she loses her first tooth, learns to ride a two wheeler, learns to read I will be reminded that I wasn’t allowed to share that experience with my firstborn and it will hurt. It will bring the pain I have buried for so many years to the surface.

But as I have so many times in the past, I will make it through. I will laugh. I will cry. I will wonder. And most of all I will pray. I will pray for the strength to deal with the hurt. I will pray that I will live to see the day that my Firstborn will once again want me to be a part of her life.

And maybe, once the Little One passes the three year mark the pain will be a little more bearable because I’ll have been there once before. I’ll no longer be in uncharted territory.

My Firstborn at 3.
 The Big One at 3.

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