"Patrick, what age will you be when we meet? Will you be a tiny baby and I will see you grow up before my eyes? Will you be a tiny baby? Will I be the same age I was when you died and we will age together? Or, will you be a grown man by the time we meet and I will instinctively know your life even though I did not see it?"
Patrick will be two next month, or should be two next month. I have met mothers over these two years who tell me that they can imagine what their baby looks like, that they imagine their baby to be the age that they should be. I cannot do this. I do not possess the ability to age Patrick. I do not know what he would look like. I cannot imagine him as a two year old boy.
Shay and Florence look so much alike, spitting images of each other, that surely Patrick would have looked different. What would he look like? Maybe he would have dark hair, where they both have light coloured hair. Maybe he would be a rake, where Shay and Florence have chunky wee thighs and tummys.
What would he look like compared to Shay? Would he be tall like Shay, or short? They are eighteen months apart in age. What would that look like in reality? I do not know.
Even though Florence is younger than Patrick, I think of her as older because Patrick was just a wee baby. I still call him, 'baby Patrick'. I cannot imagine him older. He is always listed last on cards because he is a wee baby to me. But, it will be his birthday next month. He will be two. I do not know how to celebrate his second birthday.
"Patrick, how old are you?" I wish I knew what you looked like. I wish I knew how to celebrate your birthday.