Every day of Pookie Kaia’s life thus far, I have watched her gradually change and grow. Each day, her face has morphed just a little bit. Some days, she looks very East Asian. Other days, she looks more mixed. Some days, she seems fair skinned, and other days, she appears more brown. There have been many times I’ve looked at her and marveled over how much she looks like Chris. Other days, I smile to myself when I see how she has my exact same nose. Some days, her eyes look like mine, and other days, they look more like Chris’s. I also admire what Chris’s mum calls Kaia’s “Mona Lisa smile.” It’s a sort of half smile that makes you wonder what is going through her mind, and what she might have up her sleeve. It’s like she wants to keep us guessing.
There are days when I have seen my baby self from my old photos… right on her face. And then, there are even the days when I see little tinges of Ed in her face. I always loved looking at Ed’s baby photos. He was always smiling and giggling… and looked so carefree. He didn’t have the weight of the world on him them. He didn’t quite comprehend criticism or self hate then. I suppose part of the reason I love his baby photos so much is that in the life I can remember sharing with him, I never remember ever seeing him that happy or carefree… ever. So the photos capture a moment in time when he was that carefree and happy. They capture something in him that I was never able to witness in person.
Tomorrow will mark nine years since Ed passed away. Nine years ago, I wasn’t anywhere near the mindset of having a baby anytime soon. And now, we have baby Kaia here with us. Though she has two uncles, only one of them is still living. I wonder to myself how I will incorporate Ed into her life so that she knows him.. even though she will never meet or know him. I don’t want to make her sad or think too much about mental illness or death. But I do want her to be aware of life vs. death, about the circle of life. I dislike how many western parents today shield their children from even knowing what death is. That just doesn’t sound healthy or realistic.
Even Kaia’s birth and mere presence in my life is a reminder to me of my own mortality, that I will not be here forever, that we will not be together forever. I just hope she always knows she is deeply loved and always has my support.