The first has a pageboy haircut and the defiant attitude expected of a little girl with two older brothers. The second has the natural curiosity and disposition of a leader that comes with being the eldest child and protector of two younger siblings. The third, the youngest of the three, just turned five-years-old. She has an angelic smile, long golden locks and the confident, slightly demanding demeanor of an only child used to getting her own way.
These three little girls share little in common with each other outside of age but they each tug on my heart string in a special way that will forever bind them together. They were each conceived and delivered the same year to friends and extended family at the time I was giving it my all and then some in my last best effort at getting pregnant. My precious embryos, valiant as they were to make it to transfer day, didn’t go the distance but these precious girls — conceived unexpectedly — did. And what a reminder they are of what might have been.
I see them intermittently yet when I do I can’t help but study them closely and wonder …
How can I not? Their mother’s pregnancies are engraved in my memory. Their birth announcements and every milestone that has come since are potent symbols.
This past weekend I shopped in a store chock full of Easter delights carefully selecting what I thought would appeal to the youngest of the five-year-olds. Best guesses on my part as I only see this little one once or twice a year. She’s the cousin to my 11-year-old niece and eight-year-old nephew, each of whom indulge her with a tenderness that makes me proud.
I’ll see the other two spirited girls again soon as they belong to close friends. When I do I’ll fight the urge once again to imagine what might have been. To them I’m just Auntie Pam but the intense connection and the visceral emotions these three evoke will stay with me, always.