NO, not birth of Julian....
... just his birth song!
I have been procrastinating writing his birth song for a while now for a couple of reasons. One, my experience with Bella's song eclipses anything I could have ever imagined in terms of how powerful or poignant a song can be. I had the honor of singing that song every night to her momma's belly, at the moment of her birth, through every operation and hospital procedure, through a thousand lonely moments in ICUs, and finally, the moment she went to heaven. I don't mean this the wrong way, but how do you top that? I was intimidated to even go anywhere near my lucky yellow note pad where Bella's song is still penciled in on the top page, with Providence the song right behind it.
The other reason was much smaller... between Ali's song and Bella's song, I had this thought, "What else do I say to my new child I haven't already used in either previous song?" I am not the world's most prolific songwriter, so I was worried I didn't have enough unique words of advice in me.
So, tonight, I enlisted Ali and mommy's help, and we all wrote the song together, as a family. I also switched things up by writing it on the ukulele instead of guitar. I thought that would help separate it in my mind from comparing it to either prior song. We were all sitting at the dinner table, and I ran and got my uke and my lucky pad of paper.
Sure enough, it had *one piece of paper left.* No joke.
We picked the tune that Ali and I wrote together a few years ago that is a mashup of Tiny Bubbles, and our own creation, and used that as the skeleton to hang the new words from. This is a useful way to write a gift song for someone if you are hung up about writing a melody and chord progression from scratch. Don't bother, unless you are trying to get it published. Then, you'll need permission!
With great input from Ali and mommy, the tune was finished, and I played it through from beginning to end.
As soon as I finished, Ali chimed in, "That was too LONG."
To which I replied, "That's funny because I was just thinking that it was too short."
To which the wisest of the three, Angelique, said, "That means that it's probably just right."
And that is how it went down.
I'll record a scratch version of it soon enough, but suffice that Julian got his birth song played to the belly tonight just like old times. When I finished, I reached out and put my hand on the belly, and it was vibrating with energy. I have been a little distant from holding and touching the belly to date, and tonight, I really gave Julian some love for the first time.
This grieving-while-parenting-while-preparing thing has not been easy for me. I know that what I am about to say is not "true" (just like most fears) but I am going to write a little about my fears, hoping that by seeing them and sharing them, they dissipate a little...
I fear that when Julian comes, I am going to forget about Bella just a little bit, by virtue of how present a new baby will require me to be. I don't want her to get squeezed out by the newest edition. She's not here to compete for attention like a living sibling is.
I am also afraid of feeling joy again for a baby. I know she wants me to... but it's like the age old conundrum widows face regarding re-marrying or even dating after the death of a spouse. How do I let myself feel happy again and have those feelings again for another?
As we get closer and closer to Julian's birth, a lot of what I would call - for a lack of a better label - PTSD over Bella's birth is surfacing with greater frequency and intensity. I had to be strong - stronger than ever in my life - when Bella was born, and I don't consider myself that strong a guy. Her birth scared me more than I could ever say. Hence, I am scared to even walk into that same hospital again. That last trip took so much out of me. I'm afraid of going back. I almost wish we were delivering in a different hospital, just to help with ameliorating the trauma.
Please don't get me wrong. I am not without gratitude for this opportunity. I am simply not without fear either. I know that we all live with fear, and that it is a normal, natural part of being alive, and being a human being. It's just that the past two years were full of a bit more fear than any other two years in my life, and I am still reeling from it internally. I wish I wasn't. I wish I was stronger, but I'm not. I'm a scared little kid inside a 38 year old body, trying to keep it all together.
What am I gonna do? Keep moving.