Momma has dropped off the grid for a few weeks out of sheer necessity. The changing of the seasons, the hesitant entrance of fall, your 4th birthday - it's been a lot to process this year. Why this year in particular? While Momma's not 100% sure, I do have several guesses.
For starters, the realization that you would be four is jaw dropping. The age of four is squarely outside of the Toddler Years, and moves into full Kid Zone. We would be preparing you for school, team sports, and a "big kid" bedroom. These would be the years of not just watching you learn the fundamentals of language and numbers, but actually watching you learn to apply those fundamentals. Momma would - should - be watching you discover your full potential as an intellectual, an athlete, a little boy.
At the same time, your little brother is moving beyond anything and everything I ever knew with you. The toys you loved to play with are now "baby toys" in many ways. He's mostly outgrown any clothes we tried to hand down, including the ones you were never big enough to wear. While you had mastered a handful of words, he's now communicating in phrases, full of emphasis and gestures. What should I do with the items we didn't pack away, but kept out for Pickle never projecting this day would come? For now, Momma took the easy way out and put them into storage.
I guess, more than anything, it is the ongoing discovery that this - this grief - is a journey. And maybe one that has no true destination. No one shares that question when you embark on this sojourn. They comfort you by telling you, "It's a journey - and it is your own journey to take. There is no right or wrong direction." That feels good in the early years. Yes, yes...it's OK that I'm wandering, a little lost and directionless. But, I'm still here!
But, close to three years later the truth hits home. Holy cow! This truly is the never-ending journey. At least, during this life on earth. While we will always have clear cut lines between the times we most miss with you, and the moments we truly rejoice with Pickle, there will always be a fuzzy, grey zone. A zone where Momma is happy and sad, filled with hope and despair and my vision is blurred by the visions of your forever 16.5 month old face alongside your always-getting-older brother.
If Momma had to choose one word to describe the last month it would be this - introspective.
Peanut, you feel very, very close lately. Your energy, your laugh, your hugs. I truly think you visit your brother and laugh and sing with him. You are here in spirit.
Regardless, I miss you so very much. And I love, love, love you. To the moon - and back!
|An early Peanut bath, just over 4 years ago. Love the cow towel!|