Tuesday, August 26, 2014


My sweet, handsome, challenging, Star Wars obsessed, funny, strong-willed, creative, smart, loving big kid starts 4K in a week.  A WEEK!  What?

How did he go from this
to this
so fast?  

And as a biased Mama, can I just say, that is one beautiful kid.

Cole and I have had our share of rough moments recently.  Moments that sometimes made me think, "Why do I bring out the worst in my son?"  A few weeks ago, however, I had a discussion with another mom who is also a preschool teacher.  I mentioned to her how challenging some days are for me with Cole.  Tantrums.  Anger.  Constant battles.  Tears.  Moments that made me feel like an awful mom.  She told me that she hears this from parents all the time, and she always tells them that the fact that we think about the hard moments and analyze them means we are good parents.  And the fact that our kids show us the worst, most frustrated, most challenging parts of themselves means that they feel safe with us and know we love them unconditionally. Such a nicer viewpoint.  And I do appreciate that Cole saves his worst behavior for me and doesn't show that side of himself to many others.  Please don't get me wrong.  We have mostly wonderful times together.  He's cuddly and funny and creative and sweet.  At the end of the day, he says things like, "I love snuggling my Mama" as we cuddle on the couch.  He's truly my best buddy.  I know how much I will miss him when he's at school.  We've been together pretty much non-stop for over 4 years.  School will be an adjustment for both of us.

Cole is excited about going to school.  He'll be attending Orchard Ridge Nursery School for 4K, which is where all of his big cousins have gone.  He's excited about the playground and the animal toys and snack.  He has expressed a little nervousness about not knowing any children in the class, but so far, he's not focusing on that.  I fully expect a bit of sadness the first week, but I'm hopeful that his excitement sticks.

With the return of school and the return of September comes the return of my higher anxiety.  School means "First Day of School" photos all over the place, and despite the fact that I will be taking some of Cole this year, I'm not looking forward to being bombarded by them again.  I didn't expect them to hit me so hard last year, but they of course were a reminder of all the Firsts Molly will never have and all the photos of all my children together that I will never have.  In his own way, Cole is aware of that as well.  A few weeks ago I was taking some pictures of Cole and Rosie.  He stopped me and said, "Wait, should I go get the Molly bear?"  I love that Molly is never far from Cole's thoughts.  He's an amazing Big Brother to both of his sisters. 
Yellow for Molly, hugs for Rosie as we bought our minivan

School also means a time for taking family photos.  Cole's 4K teacher has asked for a family photo, which is always a difficult concept for me.  I think of them as almost-family photos.  We try to incorporate Molly when we can, but it isn't always possible depending on where we are.  I'm not sure which of the following two photos to give to his teacher:
Option 1: With Molly's stone, but Cole looks a bit intense
Option 2: No symbol of Molly, but Cole looks natural

 And September means Molly.  All over the place.  Her birthday, trees starting to turn yellow, memories flooding my brain.  It's not bad necessarily.  September is beautiful.  And I can't say I think of Molly more in September because I think of her all the time, but it is definitely a time when I am seeking comfort wherever I can find it.  I don't know what we will do to mark her birthday this year.  Last year we did a lot to honor her and to help ourselves through the day.  This year will be different - Cole will have school and Rosie is here.  The day can't be just about Molly as it was last year.  I'm not sure if that will feel harder or not.  Never can tell what Grief is going to do.

Cole will occasionally mention wishing Molly was here so we would have two babies, or so Rosie would have "a buddy."  Oh, how I wish that, too.  I know we wouldn't have Rosie if Molly were here.  I know that.  But a girl can dream.  And dream I do.  About being so tired and having no idea how lucky I was.  About an almost-2-year-old chasing a 10-month-old.  About the love and the fights these two girls would share.  About my girls sharing a room and clothes and friends as they get older.  I suppose these dreams will never go away.  At each step of Rosie's life I will wonder what her relationship with Molly would have been.  Molly's absence will always be palpable. 

And on the flip side, our gratefulness for Rosie will never cease.  She is just who we all needed.
 Rosie is smart, silly, funny, busy, sweet, and lovable.  She gets so much attention and love from so many people.  We are so lucky to call her ours.  I'm doing my best to soak in as much of her wonderful babyhood as I can because before I know it, she'll be off to school like her 
big brother.

"If there ever is a tomorrow when we're not together, there is something you must remember.  You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.  But the most important thing is, even if we're apart, I'll always be with you."
~Winnie the Pooh

1 comment:

  1. It's like you crept into my brain and spoke my very thoughts! I think the same things about Sam & Jack all the time. And when I see a picture of all three of my living kids, I always, always wish the fourth was in it too. Tomorrow, Charlotte will be 17 weeks. The age Jack was when he died. After tomorrow, she'll always be older than he ever was. That was so hard for me with Sam and the thought of it is still hard this time. It's true, you just don't know what each day will bring. Whether it's a big day like a birthday or just a typical day. You just. Don't. Know. All you can do is hold on tight and pray and get through it. Because often I look back and I think to myself, how in the world did I get through that day? But I remember my Grandpa telling me once when I asked him how he and my grandma did something, "you just do it. You don't have a choice, so you just get through it." So true. So so true. Will be thinking of you as you get through it next week, next month...through all the next moments.