Saturday, June 18, 2005

Beautiful Piece

On the NYTimes Op-Ed Page today for Father's Day by a Dutch writer whose baby girl died at only about 6 weeks old. Here are some excerpts:
Isa, dearest, you swam like a little fish in your mother, you sprawled on your changing mat like the emperor of China. You demoted your parents to servants in a life over which they had formerly ruled. Just look at your father making a fool of himself, good thing no one can see him trying to close the snaps on your rompers with his fumbling fingers, while you, discerning as you are, scream at the top of your lungs.

If my little girl had not died, I would probably never have written about her, about the snaps on her rompers. Then I had to, there was nothing else I could do. You come home from the hospital and the cradle is still standing there, as though nothing has happened. The things have no idea, they lie
innocently in wait.

And later, talking about his new son...

Meanwhile, someone else is lying in her crib, her playpen, her bed, someone else wears her clothes, gums at her teddy bear, flips through her picture book. His name is Frederik and he is someone else, he is so different, so new to us, every day we can hardly believe he really exists. We're so happy with him, and that, too, we can hardly believe.

Because happiness reminds us so much of her, that's why you miss it most precisely when it's
around.