FARGO — Thanksgiving was difficult. Earlier in the week, I became completely overwhelmed by grief. We took some time off from homeschooling because I couldn't rein in my emotions. On top of the grief was a giant weight of confusion. I was completely caught off guard by the intense sorrow. It was our fifth Thanksgiving since our daughter Harlynn died, but I hadn't experienced grief like this since the initial weeks and months after she passed away.
FARGO — Every day I realize more and more how not-so-little my children are. Their nicknames of "Little Miss" and "Little Man" will soon be irrelevant in reference to my big kids. Little Man is obsessed with how big and strong he is, taking every opportunity to flex his muscles or help carry something. Second to his strength is his independence, which grows every day in tasks he wants to complete "by myself."
FARGO — We've started a new way of life this year in many aspects, and school is no exception. Surprising even myself, we've taken the plunge into homeschooling. Once upon a time I swore I would never homeschool, for a multitude of reasons. What I'm finding is the more I say "I'll never," the more that seems to be exactly what ends up happening.
After a (long, long) 30-month stint in an apartment, we're finally home. More than two years ago, we sold our home without listing it and moved into an apartment, thinking we would find another home right away. Long story short, we didn't. Our kids have spent the last two-and-a-half years in a modern first-world-problem sardine can, and we were all feeling the pinch. Recently, we closed on a home and started a new life in the wide-open spaces of rural Minnesota.
Little Miss is at the age where missing teeth are a regular occurrence around our home. Her fourth tooth in nine months came out the other day and presented us with a situation that pains me to think about. With her front tooth sitting almost horizontal at the gum, she bellied up to the kitchen counter to enjoy a banana for breakfast, just like any other morning. While my coffee was brewing (this is an important fact to note; I had not had any coffee at this point), I heard her utter the words, "I lost it."
A few days ago, mothers across the US celebrated our special day, being recognized for the labor of love we call parenting. Some celebrated. Others find Mother's Day to be a tough pill to swallow. Maybe their mother has passed away, or they have a distant relationship with their mother (or their children). Maybe they've battled infertility and have been unable to have children, despite it being their most intense longing. For others, like me, perhaps they've buried a child.
She would have been 4 years old yesterday. "Would haves" are the markers we have to measure the time since our second daughter, Harlynn, died. I thought this year I would do better. I thought this year I would cry less. I thought this year I would hold my head a little higher. But still, four years later, it completely wrecks me that our daughter died. Consciously, as her birthday approaches, I try to prepare. I anticipate what I'll feel, what I'll think, what I'll experience. And I'm usually always wrong.