Time continues to fly swiftly by. I still visit that bench, although not quite as often. Another year has passed without opening that box. Perhaps next year I will have the strength and courage to do so.
Your brother grows and thrives, so vibrantly, he seems to glow from within. At times, I like to think that he carries not only his own brightness, but yours as well. Maybe it is just a reflection, a trick of the light, I can’t help but think of both of you when I catch a certain twinkle in his eye or the sun shines down on his shoulders.
Though we shared only a few precious moments with you in this world, they are some the most precious I hold in my heart. On this day you gave me the gift of motherhood, a gift I will cherish forever. Happy 6th birthday, Mary and Christopher. We love you so.
I just love looking back at all of Joseph’s monthly posts from this past year. Not only does it capture his growth, it reminds me of all the fun we’ve shared. (Here, you can check out his first, second, and third retrospective here.)
There is a box in my closet that holds a piece of my heart. I cannot open it for it fills me with dread whenever it happens to catch my eye, yet it is cherished and I will never let it go. This one small box contains all the earthly artifacts I have of the twins. Photos that I can’t bear to look at, yet are seared into my heart and brain.There are hospital bracelets, birth certificates, death certificates, and the guest book from their funeral. Tiny foot prints on index cards, rattles that were never held, prayer cards. . . doll-sized clothes that were given to them by the hospital. I hate those clothes, they are stiff and itchy to the touch, reminding me of how unbearably fragile and soft they were. The box is full of the ephemera of heartache, pain, sorrow, grief, joy, hope, and love. Someday, I hope to be able to open this box again, to be able to look at these precious bits without staining them with tears. Today is not the day.
Five years now have gone by. I still visit that bench, but not as often. Your brother tears me away, holding my hand and dragging me into the frenzy of life with an almost 4 year old. But please know, Mary and Christopher, you are still bright, shining stars that guide my way. Mommy loves you.
I sit. I wait. I whisper. I get angry. I get sad. I leave the room. I go back. I’m patient. I’m frustrated. I’m exhausted. I love him. I want to run away screaming. I hold firm. I cave in. I silently scream. I sing. I hold him. I push him away. I count. I read. I cry. I count the minutes. I count the hours. We do not sleep.
Keeping my hands busy and my mind calm, it’s currently more about the process than the end product. Although, it can be amazing that worries and stress can turn into something that keeps you cozy and warm.
This past month has flown by!
We went to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. I was NOT going to eat turkey, so mom made me my own little pizza! I had so much fun playing with my cousin Luke. I got all the guys to play “Body Slam!” (which is just me yelling “Body Slam!” and doing a running tackle. Good times!
We had a fantastic snow storm one weekend and I had the best time making a snow man and a snow fort outside. I was so sad when the snow melted. I hope it comes back again soon.
Over Thanksgiving break, we went to a fun restaurant called 2Toots Train Whistle Grill. There were trains that went around on a track and even brought our food out to us. Plus, Thomas was on all the TVs there. It was heaven.
Mom and Dad also took me to the Dupage Children’s Museum, which was so cool! There were so many things to explore, I think that my favorites was the bubble/water room and the shadow exhibit. I can’t wait to go back again.
This month I’ve really been into playing with Thomas the Train and building the island of Sodor. I also have been playing with Lightning McQueen and the rest of the guys from the Cars movies, my other match box cars, and reading lots of books. My favorite right now is Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss and Mater Saves Christmas.
Speaking of Christmas . . . I am so excited for Santa! Our elf, Gerry, came back this year to visit me. We put up the Christmas tree and decorations, and mom got me an advent calendar to count down the days. I saw Santa at school and told him I wanted some Hot Wheels Tracks. I thought that I was going to get it from him right then, but he didn’t have any toys with him. But, he said he’d bring them for me at Christmas. I’m so excited, I just can’t wait!
Big day for the little guy! Although Joe has been attending “camp” for about six months, today is his first official day of preschool.
He’s attending the Early Childhood Program at Davis Primary School. His teacher is the sweetest lady ever, Mrs. Gregory. “Mrs. G” to her students.
We’re all excited to see Joey start out his education and can’t wait to see how much he will learn and grow. Here’s to the Class of 2030!
Hurray, Summer is finally here! It’s been great to be able to go outside and play at the playground, or in my new sandbox. I also have been having fun helping Grandpa with the tractor and getting the pool ready. Now if it would just stop raining so I can swim!
Summer has only just started, but I’ve been really busy! I’m playing t-ball and taking swimming lessons, not to mention starting summer school. Plus, we celebrated Memorial Day with a cook out at Grandma and Grandpa’s house and of course had a yummy donut for National Donut Day. The ones with sprinkles are my all time favorites!
I’m looking forward to more summertime fun!
Happy Birthday, Shawn. You are the most amazing husband and father I could ever hope for. Thank you for sharing this amazing life with me. You are, and will always be, my true north. I love you.
Once again, a year has gone by and now my chubby toddler has morphed into a (not so little) little boy. This past year has brought a lot of changes for you, and our family, but you have always surprised me at your easy going attitude and quick adjustment to it all. You’ve grown so much more independent and your personality has really blossomed this year. I love how kind and loving you are to everyone, how silly you can be and how you laugh and giggle. I love watching you learn and figuring out how things work. I love how you always want me to read to you and ask me to “Come take a seat, Mom!” on the couch next to you. You’re still as busy as ever, but you always make sure to sit and snuggle with me. I hope that you will always do that no matter how big you get. I so look forward to what this next year will bring. Happy Birthday, Joseph William, you are my shining star. Mommy loves you so very much.
I”m three years old today!! Wow did that year go by fast! I have grown so much and can do so many more things now that I’m a big boy. I can sleep in a big boy bed, wear big boy underwear and can dress and undress myself. (with a tiny bit of help from mom or dad) I know my shapes, and colors – in rainbow order!- and can even spell and read lots of words. My favorite things to do are play with my trains and cars, do puzzles, do crafts with mommy and play basketball with daddy. I want to be outside ALL THE TIME! I’m so excited to see what this next year brings, I’m ready for anything!