Boy, oh boy, did you ever love Dr. Seuss. We have a number of Dr. Seuss board books that are embellished with loads of fun gadgets and whirlygigs that you loved to play with - sliding fish, furry bellies, feathers, rings on ribbons, and so on. And, without fail, the text always made you giggle and clap. But, just like with The Very Hungry Caterpillar, you had your favorite parts of each book that we simply had to read over, and over, and over, and over...
You loved to grab "One Fish, Two Fish," walk around the room, present it to Momma, then take it away to read all by yourself. I would spy on you, to see what pages and pictures you found most interesting vs. what simply wasn't worth your precious Peanut time. Without fail, your two favorite parts - the Red Fish and the New Fish. You always pointed to the New Fish in its little baby fish carriage, then you would point to its Momma Fish and look at me with raised eyebrows. Smart Peanut.
When I actually got to read the book TO you, we would point to the Red Fish (five or six times), find the matching fish on the sliding fish bar, then we would find other red stuff in the room, like Elmo. It really didn't matter if we finished the book at that point - the search and match game was exactly what you wanted. I look back on those activities and am amazed by your speed and connectivity. Everything was coming together so quickly for you over those last few months. I wish I could see you today, at 20.5 months. You might already be doing long algebra!
We have that book packed away right now, along with most of your other belongings. I'm fighting the urge to go pull it out of storage so I can read it, and maybe even sleep with it tonight. Your spirit still lingers for me in the little places that meant so much. Your favorite books, blankets, stuffed animals, and certain clothes. These are the treasured items that will forever carry you, your memories and your stories.
I'm sharing a picture tonight of a beautiful plate one of my dear friends (and co-workers) painted from memory about a month after we lost you. She was with her children at a pottery painting store, and literally found herself creating this image from "Guess How Much I Love You," surrounded by store patrons, before she even registered what was happening. Peanut Magic, I believe. She was one of the first people to hold you after you were born, and I think you have visited her several times over the last 4 months.
Peanut, I'm feeling guilty about having hope and planning for a new future. While my mind knows this is the right thing to do and it's what you would want, my heart is struggling. I pray for a sign, a thought, a feeling, that you're sitting on my shoulder, cheering me on - "Live, Momma! Go for it!" In the meantime, I will simply tell you that I love you more than the earth, sky, sun, moon and universe. I love you to the moon and back, a million times over.