Today was a beautiful, perfect day in St. Louis. Blue skies, 80 degrees, a slight breeze. Summer's last gasp before fall truly settles in and the first frost arrives, probably later this week. Dadda and I decided to get out and enjoy the weather by having lunch on one of our favorite outdoor patios.
The outdoor plaza was bustling, packed with friends, families, church-goers and children. I imagine Dadda and I looked like a couple out relishing our final weeks of non-parenthood, in particular to the harried families juggling multiple children. A couple with two young boys claimed the table next to us, which was particularly hard for Momma to watch...their youngest was approximately your age. Dadda caught the way I was watching them - with sadness and longing - and he squeezed my knee, "Try not to be sad." I just nodded and fought back tears.
Despite that, we had a nice lunch. Dadda is my refuge, my best friend and my favorite person to spend time with...I feel safe laughing with him. We can shift gears effortlessly, from moments of intense sadness, to all-out belly laughs. We can talk about you with joy and tears, and acknowledge the hope we feel thanks to The Bean. Again, I'm sure to any onlooker, we seem to be a joyful, happy couple expecting a new addition to our family.
As we wrapped up lunch and prepared to leave, the family next to us caught our attention. "Hey! Do you guys want to take our boys for some practice?!" Dadda and I both laughed nervously. How do we respond? How do we explain to this well-menaing couple that we would give both our lives to have you back? That "practice" is what we miss more than we can express. That we will never again take our parenting moments for granted? That we are parents missing and grieving for their little boy, struggling to rebuild our family chain?
I chose to simply give them a smile, "Thanks, but I think we're good for now!" And Dadda put his arm around me with a reassuring hug. Because, without having to say a word, we both completely understood each other's hearts. Our broken, but healing hearts. Our hearts that burst with love for you, our wonderful Peanut. Love that circles the earth, moon, stars and sun. And back again.