As I return little man back to school (I "borrowed' him for lunch and C-F-A) I ask him to kiss me again. He grins and starts to back up, the way 7 year old boys do. Then he grins and comes forward to indulge mommy in another kiss.
I stop at Starbucks and get a coffee. I have approximately 1/2 hour before I have to pick up big/little sister and then head home to the babies. I have a half hour of sheer quiet, peace, relaxation. I have enough time to flip through a magazine or cut out and address the kids school pictures or prayer or cut coupons or make a phone call or make a listing for items to put on craigslist or just enjoy the quiet.
I pick up big/little sister as I finish the last of my coffee, thinking that half hour went too quick. After she gives me a hug, she is off to chase a school friend, her favorite friend, but I don't remember her name mommy ;). She must have missed me today for now it is her turn to run back and ask mommy kiss me again. I happily oblige. As I try to sneak in an extra hug, she wiggles down and off she goes. I take a moment to lift my eyes heavenward in a feeble attempt to thank Him for trusting me with them.
The phone call that comes cuts me to the quick. There are no guarantees, we all no that. There are no promises in this life other than that He who leads us to it will lead us through it. There are times we let slip away, things we let go unsaid, hugs we may be too busy to see being needed and chances for kiss me again to be ignored.
I am not close to my step brother and his wife. There is no reason for this exactly, other than we have just never connected. I don't think that either one of us feels bad about this. It just is.
The phone call does not come from them, rather from my mom. We talk daily. I answer the phone with a smile in my voice from the "sunshine and roses" day I am having. I listen in mostly silence.
I hang up and start to cry for a niece I have never really known. If I would have, could I have changed things? If I had gotten to know her would she be out doing fun things at the young age of 24 instead of lying in a hospital bed on life support because she couldn't find another reason to go on?
I look in the rear view mirror at the pigtailed girl dressed in a purple rainbow shirt. I alternate between wanting to throw-up (just from imagining the pain my sister-in-law must be going through) and wanting to cry (for moments missed, for my nieces loneliness, for the pain).
As I am sharing this story with a great friend who is also babysitting sleeping twins, she notes that I seem a little frustrated about all of it. She is right! I. AM.
I am frustrated that I can't remember every second of everyday. I don't remember every sloppy kiss given, every sill song sung, every joke told. I am frustrated that I get too caught up sometimes in PROVIDING for instead of CARING for. I am frustrated that we can't always protect our kids. We can't see the future. We can't always have a kiss me again moment. We can't always protect our friends and family. I am frustrated that I almost resented my half hour of quiet not being enough.
I write this with tears, I don't know how it will all end for my niece. They have been told to call for a priest, I take this as a not so good sign. But, I am not in control, I continue to do the only thing I can, pray.
I write this with tears as I apologize for letting there be missed times and wanting more quiet time. I write this with tears as I promise to remember more, care for more, love more and kiss me again more. I write this with tears as I pray they are strong enough (him mother just died 6 months ago and they were very close) to make it through this, to guide the younger 2 children (10 and 7) into understanding and accepting what happens. I write this with tears of fear. Every parent has these with something tragic befalls another parent. My niece started out as a cuddly baby, she was a happy 4 year old once too. I write this with tears of love as big/little sister is up from nap time again and little man is about to walk through the door and the babies are giggling in there cribs. I write this with tears of thanks that my home is loud, crazy, silly, chaotic for it is LOVE.
I write this with tears of joy. The joy being that I have a bigger helper in keeping my kids safe. Joy of being blessed to be trusted with these four awesome children. Tears of Joy for sloppy wet kiss me again's, jokes, hugs and silly songs. Tears of joy to know that He loves them more than I do. Tears of joy that while times seem bleak, He knows what is best for everyone, He is in control, He will lead my brother and sister-in-law through this tragedy, however it unfolds.
In the meantime, if you have read this post and hung in there until this point, I demand that you walk away from the computer, give your littles/children/ducks/arrows/lovebugs/peanuts/turkeys/babies/whatever you call them and extra hug. I ask that you make a conscious effort to listen to every kiss me again moment they may have. I ask that you pray for my niece, my brother and sister-in-law and their other children.
I will give you an update when I have one. Until then, I will be giving hugs, kisses and tickles and not worry about the laundry and dishes that are demanding my attention.
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4 years ago