Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First Day of School

I can't believe today I dropped that sweet baby off to kindergarten for the first time!! My oldest son Caedmon is already in school. We chose to do half day kindergarten for a smoother transition from home-schooling last year, and so that I can still work with him at home in the afternoon when there's time. He's been nervous about it all summer, and every time someone would mention it he would say "I'm not going to kindergarten!" but I love that after praying about it with him and going to the open house, he was excited to go, and couldn't wait until this morning came.

It also just came out yesterday that after seeing a scene of corporal punishment on Anne of Green Gables some time ago he was afraid that he was going to get a "spanking on the hands" from the teacher! If only I had known that earlier this summer I could have reassured him sooner, poor kid! Who knew that movie would traumatize a child! Once we got that cleared up he definitely relaxed more and when I picked him up today he was all smiles and excitement about the year ahead.

It's hard to believe this sweet boy who was not-so-long-ago my baby is now going to school. There are so many moments like this that I wish I could freeze in time. Watching him walk into his classroom today reminded me of how quickly he will be grown and going out into the world. I know it seems a little silly when he's only 5, but as quickly as these years have gone, I know the next ones will fly by even faster, and I will look back and wish I could revisit today.

Caedmon going to open house:

About to get in the car on the first day of school:

Sitting at his desk for the first time:

Jayden wished he could go too, but got to spend the morning on his scooter

Now, Ben, promise me you will not be going to kindergarten any time soon!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

When I wrote my previous post, I had intended to come back the next day to explain more about the significance of Saturday's date, but the last few days have been so busy I am only now getting to do that. Saturday marked not the anniversary of Eliana's death, but one year from her due-date. We said hello and good bye to her on May 9th of last year, after almost 26 weeks of pregnancy. My due date was August 14th, so that time holds a lot of importance for me too.

I've been thinking about Eliana so much lately, and just feeling the weight of her absence even more than usual. It took me a little while to realize, that's because it is August. We've done some of the same things we did last year at this time, and it just brings back the depth of sadness and longing that we had then, realizing that she would have been in our arms had she lived. I remember attending the Balloon Classic and the State Fair, seeing her in every tiny baby that we passed by, and just feeling such an ache.

This year I saw her again in chubby-faced pig-tailed toddlers, heard her in their laughter, and felt her absence in their presence. She would have turned one in this last week, maybe Saturday, and when I close my eyes to think about it, I am really almost there with her, watching her enjoy the beautiful day.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

What Might Have Been

I'm rushing around with last minute details in the kitchen as I hear her laughing from the other room. I hand Mark the ice cream and butterfly cake, and then squeeze past him to get a view of her face as he sets them down in front of her and lights the candles. Her eyes light up and sparkle when she sees it and she claps her hands.

She sits in her booster, squirming and reaching to grab her cake. Only moments ago she was toddling around the room and had to be corralled by Grandma to get her confined in the seat. She took her first steps a month ago, but only this week started really getting places, just in time for today.

I see her looking so cute, still my baby, but really starting to look like a little girl. Her hair has gotten longer, so she just barely has pig tails today and looks so pretty in the colorful dress I had chosen during my pregnancy and saved for this occasion.

How quickly a year has gone, so many firsts and so much laughter...

As soon as she gets her piece of cake she digs right in and squishes it all up between her fingers, then she decides to taste it, and by the end she is basically wearing it, not just all over her face, but even in her hair and on her dress!

Daddy cleans her up, and she can't wait to get down and play. She toddles over to me and hides behind my legs, peeking out and giggling at Grandpa. Soon she starts to open presents. This is a new concept, and I end up opening most of them for her. She seems more interested in crinkling the wrapping paper and playing with the boxes than the actual gifts, but when we give her the baby doll we got for her she squeezes it tight and we snap a picture. Then she gives me a big hug like she knows that she is the dolly's Mommy just like I am her Mommy.

What a perfect day...

Of course all of this is only the shadow of what might have been. When I close my eyes, I can see her, and I can almost hear us singing
"Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday Eliana, Happy Birthday to you..."