Here I sit, in my favorite room of my house, cultivating my piece of peace. I am staring at my beautiful pitcher full of tulips, the soft shade of pink fading to blush. The vibrant green stems, reminding me of Spring. Outside, all around me, snow is falling madly from the sky. It feels like the Universe is saying, “We are not in the clear yet.” March is when we begin to think of Spring. We all relax a little. Conversations are peppered with the question, “Do you really think we will have more snow? Even if we do, it should melt quickly.”
No one can control the weather. We learn that so early on in our lives. I can remember one Fourth of July we were set to throw a large party. We always have a get together on the Fourth because it is my mother in law’s birthday. We were expecting a larger crowd than usual that year. Our house was a charming three bedroom home, but it could not accommodate this crowd. As rain poured down all around us, we had a great time, despite the weather. We made our own fun.
Our boys, now five and seven, still love when it rains. They find the joy in something that could ruin their playtime. Instead of being upset that it is not optimal weather to ride bikes in, they put on their rain boots and jump in puddles. This is very much a metaphor for my own life. My family and I have suffered a tragic event that could keep us from ever finding joy again. It would be so easy to take that path and dwell on the negative. My husband and I made a pact, however, that we would not do that. We promised that we would do everything in our power to find those puddles and allow out boys to jump in them. We even promised that we would jump with them.
It’s so easy to allow sadness and anxiety to run your life, in any case. I always say, “We all have something”. Everyone has experienced tough times. Some are more extenuating than others. We have suffered a nightmare. It is not always easy to be present and make new memories. If we don’t though, all we are left with is sadness. It wouldn’t be fair to our two beautiful boys who have already had more sadness in their few years than some people have in their whole lives. And so each day, we jump in the puddles. Sometimes we make a bigger splash than others, and sometimes those puddles include sadness. As long as we continue to fulfill our pact, our living boys will be able to experience happiness alongside sadness. As always, love to heaven…
Sometimes it is so evident that Christian’s energy is here, that it is palpable. I woke up this morning to my two boys playing with their science kit. When I say science kit, this includes water, goggles and food coloring. They assured me that Daddy said it was okay. (Daddy denied this!)
Mixing food coloring, potions and concoction making, as we used to call it, were some of Christian’s favorite activities. Just for your knowledge; potions are liquid and concoctions include spices and possibly food! This is not the first time my younger boys have played with the science kit, and I am sure it’s not the last. It is the first time that they fully set it up themselves, surely with the help of Christian’s energy. Watching them play this morning reminds me that he will never leave us. He lives on in all of us, always. Love to heaven…
Books, places, kids shows, movies, songs and even school projects all hold so many memories for me. All three of my boys attend/attended the same preschool and elementary school. Preschool routines are especially familiar to me. Since 2010 I have had a child in preschool. That’s eight years of sharing lunches at home, library visits, board games after school and TV time together. Of course things have changed over the years. Christian’s routine always included an after school nap. Anthony’s did for a while, and Nicky’s never really did. It’s the nature of three children! Nevertheless, the time spent with my preschoolers was, and is, so precious.
Just yesterday I needed to make an appointment for six months in the future. This brought us to September. Naturally, I made the appointment in the morning. That has been my routine as a mom of a preschooler. We always need to make the most of those free morning hours! When the receptionist asked me if 11:15 would work, I began to ask for an earlier appointment. With a child in preschool, my free time usually ended around 11:30. It was in that moment that reality came crashing down around me. I was no longer “tied down” to that schedule. Audibly, I gasped and accepted a strange look from the receptionist. I filled her in on the fact that 11:15 would be perfect because I had no little person depending on me to pick him up anymore. My heart sank. It has been more than 24 hours and I still cannot shake the feeling. It comes as no surprise that my youngest will be in Kindergarten next near. It also does not come as a surprise that it will be a huge adjustment for me.
Most moms have similar feelings when their youngest spreads their wings and flies off to Kindergarten. For me, my feelings are slightly more complicated, or at least I think they are. This is all I know. My youngest child going off to Kindergarten means I will no longer be a mother to a child who is actively living the same routine as my angel lived most of his life. Christian spent half of his life in preschool, maybe a little more. His preschool routine determined what I did the rest of the day. He was the oldest and so his routine truly dictated the rest of our routines. There will be no more midday visits to the park, unexpected pizza lunches just because, or midday Disney shows playing in the background.
With my youngest son finishing his last year in preschool, it is easy to make active comparisons between my angel’s life and my living children because he experienced many of the same things. I am painfully aware that once my youngest son completes Kindergarten, these similarities will no longer exist. The sadness, fear and anxiety that this leaves me feeling is daunting. I know it will be okay. My two younger sons will make their own experiences and memories, This is part of moving forward. It is why I fight so hard every day. My children deserve the same love and involvement from me that my angel had. It’s painful to recognize that my youngest son is getting close to surpassing my angel in age. Will memories still be as easy to recall? Will they be as relevant since my living children are not experiencing them anymore? Will he leave others’ minds and memories? It’s scary. Unfortunately, only time will tell. I know that I will never forget him or our beautiful memories. I also know what I need to do to move forward, with my family’s well being in mind. As I have learned these past three years, this is all I can control. Love to heaven always…