We need to pick out Benjamin’s birthday cake soon. I say to him late last night, while we’re both staring at our phones. We both know the date is coming up. Looming over us as each day in February passes us by.
I think we should do a rocket ship. He says
We did that for his second birthday… then there is silence.
I hate picking his cake. I say and I feel my face starting to get hot. I feel my eyes starting to give way.
He looks up at me with serious, sad eyes. The way he always does when I get like this. I can tell my Mom not to make a cake this year if you don’t want one. He says, trying to fix it for me. Trying to make this a little less hard.
That’s not what I’m saying. I hate picking the theme. I hate that he’d be four this year and I have no clue what he’d like. I mean surely he’d be in to something. Like love something. And I just don’t know what it would be and that kills me. I hate picking his cake. But I want to celebrate him.
How about just a four with stars? He says. He’s trying to find a way to make this what I want it to be.
That sounds good. We need to figure out what we want to do also. Like if it’s just cake with our parents or if we go somewhere and do something. But not on his day. I can’t go anywhere on his day.
He nods. He knows.
In my day dreams I have a middle child. A child that sleeps on the bottom bunk while Jack sleeps up top. A curly haired boy who is a link in the chain that connects Jack and William together. A piece of our puzzle. A third booster seat in the car. Another little person to raise. I can see what it would be like… with him here. I could see how life was supposed to be. But it’s not.
So instead, the first week of March every year we throw a sad birthday party for a boy who never got to be a day old, an hour old, a minute old, or a second old. He lived for 8 months inside of me, but never took a breath. We eat cake and plan small trips to celebrate him. To include him in our lives. What would Benjamin want to do at 4 years old?
It’s almost March and it’s almost time to eat birthday cake.