Thursday, August 26, 2010


My boys


Well, not quite all of them.

It's weird, but I can go days, weeks, without the gap between the boys hitting me. It wasn't until the other day when someone was asking me about the age differences between the kids that I was reminded all over again that I didn't just lose a baby, I lost a little boy, too. 

Another mom I ran into asked about the kids and I said, kind of on autopilot, "Oh, the first two are just over 12 months apart and all the rest are 16 months apart."

She got kind of excited because she had fiver kids who were remarkably similar in age to mine, and told me her kids age breakdowns, which, strangely enough, included a baby girl who was born near Evany's due date. "But where's your three year old, then? Mine has a birthday is in March." She asked innocently, gesturing to her own three year old, who was sandwiched in between an older and younger brother just like Eli would be. 

"Oh..." I said, suddenly uncomfortable...not really for me, but because I knew she'd feel uncomfortable after I finished my sentence. "He died. His birthday was in March, too."

And then it got weird, and I didn't want her to feel like she had to say she was sorry, so I kind of made an excuse and wandered off in another direction. And then I realized all over again that sometimes you can be just as sad nearly three and a half years later as you were the day he died, and that's weird. And kind of unfair, but kind of perfect too, because it keeps me from forgetting.

So when I came home and I saw this picture, what I saw, more than the two boys who are in it, was the one who is not, who should be sandwiched between them, karate chopping and dancing and playing.

The one who should be causing trouble with his brothers and looking up to his sister and loving on the baby girl. The one who should be causing me trouble and making me laugh even when I should be disciplining him.

The one who should be fighting for space to cuddle on the couch with me and Ava and Jace and Seth and Evany reading How to Train Your Dragon and fighting over who gets to turn the page.

There's always room for one more. 

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