It’s been so long since I wrote on this neglected little space of mine. I wonder when I hit publish if it even will, or just collapse like a dying star.
Ah well. 😉
In the nearly 4 years I’ve been off this space, so much has happened and yet – so much is the same. We’re still in El Paso, and honestly with 10 years under our belt here I don’t often think of leaving anymore.
Yes. That’s a shocker even for me. 😂
Sam and the girls are doing well. He’s become a stay at home dad extraordinaire, and they thrive with having him around so often.
Bella is 12. 12. I can hardly believe I’m writing that. Remember when I started this because she was 3 months, puked all the time, I was losing my mind to postpartum anxiety, and I loved to cloth diaper?
That seems like an eternity ago.
She loves, loves, loves bugs still. For years now her dream is to become an entomologist and judging by the things I find in her room she’s close to getting an honorary degree in that.
She’s become an amazing artist, and reads everything she can get her hands on. My Kindle bill (and yes we have Kindle Unlimited as well) is proof of that.
Char is 6. It’s her last year at a preschool/kinder here we love dearly and I have so many feelings about that. She’s my snuggle buddy, my last baby who I very much still see as a baby. She loves her big sister fervently and wants to be exactly like her. She’s also my wild child, lots of big emotions and feelings. She loves everything pink and princess but also loves to not wear pants so do with that what you will.
We still have Charlie. He’s 9 1/2 and showing his age lately. We are down to two cats, Jynx died last year after 18 years of being my shadow and comfort through it all. I held him in my arms as he went, and whispered to him what a good boy he was and how I loved him.
I’m in grad school – halfway through! – for a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. In Texas that ends up as an LPC.
I’m 2019 I traveled with World Vision to Ecuador to help launch their new program, Chosen. It was an incredible experience and I was actually able to meet my sponsored child and his mama while I was there.
I started teaching again, and it’s filled a piece of my heart I didn’t even know was missing. It’s a new, small school in our church that also holds Char’s preschool. I teach 1st and 2nd this year. There’s been a lot of ups and downs but I love it so much.
Which brings me to the reason I wanted to write on here today. I’m sitting on my couch, hot coffee by me and a very cold day outside. Wrapped in a blanket with our fire going.
It’s been 8 years since Kaden died. 9 since I found out I was pregnant with him. And most years, I’m ok. There’s never, ever been a day I don’t think about him or Preston and Julian, but I’m ok.
This Christmas I miss him tremendously. Like so much it takes my breath away just to think of him.
I wonder what he’d be like. I see the boys in my class who are the age he’d be and I wonder how he’d fit in with them.
I always, always, always wanted to be a “boy mom.” As a nanny, my heart was always tied to one of the little guys I cared for. I loved their grubby little hands, the mischievous look in their eyes, the shoes and clothes they wore.
But I didn’t get that. And most days now, I’m ok and don’t think of it much.
I still have his clothes from the hospital in the closet.
I still have the elephant onesies I bought him, new and with the hanger, in the garage.
I still have his pacifier.
And this is the only way I know to keep him here with us. Just a little.
I often wondered what grief would look like this far out. And I know many newly grieving parents do too. So while it’s a uniquely painful experience for us all, I can also say there is a sweetness in that. That on some nights, I can have a little too much wine and cry myself to sleep looking at his photos – and it’s one of the most cathartic things I’ve done in a while.
And on some days I can watch my students unwrap their secret Santa gifts and it tugs at my heart to think of what his reaction would have been.
And on some days I hold a new baby for a tired mama and as I place them up on my shoulder, I instantly flash back to holding Kaden there, 7lbs 8oz, as I sobbed and he took his last breath.
And so most days I’m ok. But this little space of mine really did become about this journey. The one I never got to take with him. So I come back to it in these moments to feel a little closer to who he was and who he might have been at age 8.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for remembering. Thank you for understanding that I can be happy and grieve deeply – and it makes me a better mama and person to do both.
Thank you for helping me carry his life into this sacred space.