S over at Bull in a China Shop tagged me last night for the “real moms” meme.

Kristen started it, and has a great gallery of contributions up for perusal…among them, S holding her son close and tight in spite of puke, and Kelly‘s musings on the scars that mark her childrens’ births on her body. it’s a lovely, funny, sardonic and sweet collection.

and because real moms turn their kids into camera whores, you betcha, i thought maybe Oscar and i could take a whole crapload of photos today, see what came up interesting, and add our two bits to the collage.

but when O got up from his nap, and i dragged him into the big bedroom so i could put on pants for the photoshoot (never say i don’t get all glamourous just for you), he scuttled straight to the window. and for the very first time, he singled out his brother’s white urn from its quiet little resting place by our bedside.

so this is the photo i offer.

real moms sometimes have children you can’t see.

this meme goes out to all the mothers who don’t get tagged for things like this. the ones who’ve given birth but had no baby to take home. who sit on the sidelines of conversations about mucous plugs and back labour, with stories to tell but no room to participate. who have a little gravestone or an urn or just a memory in the place of a child. who have adoption papers saying “relinquish all rights…” or ultrasound photos but nothing more. or who have two smiling school photos on their desk, but really, inside, count to three when you ask “how many kids do you have?”

this is for all the real moms with children invisible to the eye.

Redneck Mommy and Catherine, i tag you.