Mike and I went to our daycare provider’s preliminary hearing yesterday, and while I can’t and won’t say any more about the event or the legal proceedings, I thought I’d share with you the emotional rollercoaster that I have felt since then.
I had expected her to look more like a criminal, more like someone who confessed to shaking my baby. I thought she’d be ugly. I thought, I think, that she’d somehow embody evil. But she looked the same, even though she has forever changed the landscape of my life by nearly killing my son.
It’s a complicated thing to look at someone who always smiled at you, to know that your baby loved her, and to know that because of her, you struggle each day to adapt to a new sense of reality. This reality entails so much: it is seeing a two-year-old at the mall and wondering what your son will be like at two, it is crying in the middle of the night because you need sleep so desperately, but you dare not allow yourself to think what your nights might be like should your baby no longer be here, and it is watching the world you used to be a part of continue without you – not because the world doesn’t feel like you belong, but because YOU can’t imagine life feeling as simple as it once did.
Since seeing her, I have relived every emotion I felt a month ago, emotions I thought I’d moved beyond. I was in denial. I was angry. I shrank into myself and just wanted it all to go away. In the hospital, with a family and medical staff there to pick up the pieces, I could fall apart. But now it’s not an option. I crawled out of my dark little hole I had dug with my own two hands and I loved on my baby, kissing him right near the ear, his favorite spot. I fed him bananas and oatmeal. I rocked him to sleep. But, in the very few hours that I slept, I dreamt about her.
Yesterday was a reminder that we have only just fallen onto the road. The woman who pushed us off our curb sits in jail. I wish I could say that makes it all easier, but it doesn’t. Not when the road ahead remains long and uncertain.
I can only add it was a day I will never forget, the rage and anger, the love and compassion; God on one shoulder and the devil on the other as I sat 7 feet away from the woman who caused this. I want her to understand the devastation and turmoil she has caused but I could tell she has no idea. I pray one day she might grasp the magnitude of her actions and come to terms with what she has done to our child. PLEASE remember, this website has a name for a reason: our son’s journey will not be short, it will not be over in a month or a year, our son’s journey will shape our lives. We love you all and wish you all a great night’s sleep. As for my wife and I, we will be awake, loving our son.