It is back to school time across St. Louis. Everywhere I look I see kids waiting at bus stops, hundreds of "First Day" pictures on Facebook, and a hollow feeling that this will never be you. In addition, we are just a few weeks away from your birthday. You would - should - be turning 4 this year. Almost old enough for you to start kindergarten. To be a "back to school" kid whose picture I could proudly post on Facebook. But...no...This convergence of milestones has been a lot for Momma to handle.
Oh, and on top of everything, we leave for our annual family trip to Big Cedar this weekend. This year you would probably be fishing with Grandpa, using your own pole and learning the art of fly fishing. Instead, Momma is faced with the reality that we need to buy your brother a lot of new clothes because we own nothing beyond 18-24 months. That he will be the fisherman you never got to be...
Peanut, I've struggled with this post. It's been in my "drafts" folder for days. Momma doesn't want to seem sad, but...well, I am. At the same time, I am incredibly happy. Grief and joy - they truly do reside side by side. Conflicting emotions but also complimentary. One makes me appreciate the other.
Sitting at a stoplight this morning I burst into tears. I realized that Pickle has started called me "Mommy." Not Mommah, or Momma, or Mom. He has mastered the "y." So, there it is....one of my favorite memories of you and your milestones transformed by your little brother. The beginning of many more, I know.
So, next week we will light lanterns that will reach you in Heaven. A huge thanks to my awesome sorority sister Suzy who mailed us over 70 paper lanterns to assist in this effort. These lanterns will light a path for you to come visit. Please, visit often.
Sending you love, hugs and butterfly kisses. To the moon - and back!