chance encounter

“We’re 30 minutes early – we didn’t realise how quickly we’d get here. We’re happy to go sit in a café if that’s easier?”

I’m put on hold for a minute and a half while he makes a call from another line.

“Mrs. M no, its fine, the vendor is more than happy to show you the house herself. She just wanted me to let you know that it’s her son’s feeding time so you may be on your own if he’s fussy.”


Another Victorian row house, another new and unfamiliar neighbourhood. Another reminder of just how big that ocean is between us and the nearest family member.

Three years ago I would have been in a tailspin at the thought of making this decision on our own. Now, having proven what we can survive together it’s almost… exhilarating, to be experiencing a major life change that does not involve major heartbreak.


A lovely and very English woman in her mid thirties shows us the front room before we hear a gurgle and the thwack of a sippy cup hit the floor. 

“That’s Alex, I should just check on him quickly. He might be hungry, he might not.”

I’m closest to the door and find myself heading towards the next room uninvited.  In the bright white kitchen a blonde haired cherub looks up at me from his high chair. His instant toothless grin is like a tractor beam. I’m at his side before I realise I had moved. Six months old, chubby folds in all the right places, barefoot and happier than anything. His entire face is a wet smile and eyes full of joy.

“Well hello, Little Man!”

An even bigger smile from both of us and our eyes are locked.

“Why don’t I just take him with us – it’ll be easier. I think he likes you! He’s such a little ladies man already!”

And then it happened. I gave his fat little leg a pat and held out my index finger to welcome his super grip. He bounced in his mother’s arms and waved my hand back and forth, back and forth.

I would have bought the house right there and then had she agreed to throw him in with the deal.


I haven’t even been near a baby in just over two years and two months. The last time I held Sadie she wasn’t my baby anymore. I wish so many of us here didn’t how firsthand how life changing that is.  I certainly didn’t expect that little Alex would make me laugh so purely with his unadulterated exuberance at the sight of my smile. Wee little hand, huge flood of… what? Relief? Happiness? Hope? Maybe all of the above.


What was your first experience with another child after your loss? How soon was it? How did it make you feel?