Nothing prepared me to walk into our apartment building last night and see a sweet new stroller lined up next to the stroller which is usually parked on the main level of our apartment building — right next to our door. There is only one child in our building, on the second floor, so I thought, "Maybe the neighbours with a toddler have company over tonight."
But this morning when I left for an appointment, the sweet new stroller was still there. Empty, as before, with no clues as to whom the owners might be.
Tonight, our doorbell rang and it was the young couple who moved in on the fourth floor last spring when my belly was just a little bit round, but maybe could have still been mistaken for the belly of a woman with a penchant for too much pizza after 10pm. The new neighbours' packages often come to our door instead of theirs; they come pick them up when they get a chance. "There should be two packets for us," said the neighbour with her arms outstretched and her partner standing next to her. And she added with a wide smile, "They're probably things for the baby."
Well, she said something like that. When I heard das Baby, I realized that the child the stroller belongs to is theirs, Nahum. My German words stopped coming and I just tried to smile, say something like Bitte and shut the door. I don't think they know about you, Nahum, they couldn't have known that it would bother me to see their stroller, or to collect their packages of baby articles.
I miss you, Nahum, and would have bought five — no, fifty — strollers for you and lined them up all around the block if it had meant there'd be a warm, cuddly baby living on the main level of our apartment building, too.
PS- Please tell the kind people who read your letters that there's no need to feel sorry for us or worry about us; we're dealing with our loss of you quite well. Just not tonight, I guess.