Tonight Momma watched the twins graduate from high school. This amazing brother and sister who I've had the honor and privilege to call "son" and "daughter" for the last four years and I've known for the last six. These tall, strong 18 year old adults who I've watched transform from middle school pre-teens, to 16 years olds with drivers licenses to high school graduates, preparing for college and beyond. I am so proud.
Tonight, as the processional music echoed through the large basketball arena that housed the graduation ceremonies Momma reflected...this is one more life event Peanut will never get to experience. In this season of kindergarten, elementary school and high school graduations I am having to face the reality that we never got to celebrate any true graduations for you. While we did get to move you from the infant room at school to the toddler room, there was never an opportunity to celebrate the life-stage progression.
Without realizing I was doing it, I scanned the entire graduation program. Every name of every graduate...in a class of 500 or so kids. I was looking for your name. Connor. And there they were. A few spelled differently, and some with Connor as a middle name. But you were there.
At the beginning of the ceremony every graduate had a baby or childhood photo flashed on the jumbo-tron which then faded into their senior photo. I tried to picture you...which baby picture would I have submitted? What would that senior photo look like? Would you have been a football or hockey player? Soccer? Would you have been a music/choir/drama kid? I imagine you would be tall, like Dadda. Broad shouldered, with shocking blonde hair and those brilliant blue eyes. A heart-breaker. Smart as a whip. I can see you in that black gown and cap, ready to take on college and the world.
That is the future that should have been.
Instead, tonight I watched a stadium filled with kids graduate from high school. And I was reminded. This is one more thing Peanut will never get to do.
Year two of life without you is...well...it's a bitch. There is no softer word for it. I miss you. I want you back. Here. With me. I want to hold you, hug you, kiss you. I want to watch you swim, and run and talk a million miles an hour. I want to watch you sleep without fear. I want to hear you say, "I love you Momma." And I want to say, "I love you back, Peanut. To the mooooooooon and back!"