I sure miss those baby kisses! I love the kisses I get from my 7-year-old but there is just nothing like kisses from a baby! It has been a month today since Piper donned her dancing shoes. I miss her just as much today, or possibly more. It was a remarkable day though, and my spirit is full even as my heart aches. I am sitting outside as I write this and the sky is shades of pink, as if it's a tender caress from the one who knows my heart and a soft hello from my daughter. There are things my heart is thankful for even now.
Today Peyton was off. He was just not himself. I am not going to complain though. As strange and "needy" as this may sound, his need for me today of all days was balm for my soul. He has been back to school for a week and a half now and I have been there for some or all of each day to provide support for him. He has been pretty good and hasn't shown too many signs of grief in the classroom. Today however, he was different. He was not outwardly sad, he just needed closeness. I told him I might leave after the first recess, but he didn't want to have anything to do with that idea. Anytime he wasn't in his desk (beckoning for me to come help him with something) he wanted to be on my lap. It may seem a bit strange that a 7-year-old should be sitting on my lap during class-time and my mind's instinct was to urge him to sit by himself, but my heart's instinct told me not to turn him away. He sat there trying to get his cheek as close to my cheek as he could, almost desperate for that warmth and connection. His teacher and I agreed it was probably best for me to stay, but she wouldn't have had to twist my arm to convince me to. Jordan and I had not told him that this was the 1-month-anniversary, or even acted unusual this morning, but he seemed to feel Piper's absence today and to need my presence more. He was moodier than usual the rest of the day too, but could not have put words to what he was feeling if he had tried. His emotions come out in the strangest ways. We sat working on a school project this afternoon where he had to write some facts about grizzly bears. One of the facts he chose to write about from the National Geographic website was that about half of all grizzly cubs will die before they turn one. My insides twisted when he had to write a sentence with this fact, worried about how he would feel about it. I assumed he would draw a connection to his loss of Piper. He struggled to write the sentence and began to melt down about not wanting to write sentences and how hard it was. This was not an uncommon response for this project, but it brought tears this time. I mentioned that it seemed this sentence was making him feel sad. He said it was. I told him if it made him too sad about Piper he could pick a different fact. He said he wasn't feeling sad about that at all, but that he just didn't want to write sentences. Simple as that. And I think I believe him, although I am not fully convinced still. I think there may have been some "grief brain" (thank you Karen for this term!) that was deeply underlying his emotional state of being all day, but I don't think that is what caused the tears about this project. I think he really was just upset he had to do homework! It was a wake-up call to remember that the connections I draw and the grief that I experience will not be the same as what he experiences. I am not fully convinced of what was going on today or what that incident was all about and am on guard in case it is grief speaking, but I have to remind myself that he does not yet think like an adult. Thank goodness! He was laughing in the next minute - and I marvelled at the way he could change so quickly. My dear sweet boy.
Thank you to the sweet friends who sent flowers today, remembering the significance of the date. Thank you to the many more that prayed for us today. God is working through you in our lives. I feel joy in this moment because of Him working.