Not quite ten years later

May 15, 2018

I’ve stopped talking to you every day, Teddy. Sometimes that feels like healing and sometime it feels like failure. There just aren’t that many ways for me to mother you besides remembering you and talking to you. But I keep saying the same old things: I miss you. I love you. I wish you were here.

Maybe I need to tell you new things. Your sister is eight now, and a firecracker. She is taking gymnastics, and negotiating elementary-school friendships and recess drama. Your dad bought her a Black Panther graphic novel that she took to school, but when she offered to loan it to a friend she was asked to take it home. I can kind of see why a second grade teacher might not want it circulating in her classroom, but I am strangely proud that your sister is sharing books she likes and thinks are cool with her friends.

Your sister has, every day, been making sure to tell me every day that the one thing she really wants is a sibling (last night she informed me that when she grows up she is going to take her college savings and buy a sibling). It isn’t going to happen, which I try to tell her as gently but firmly as possible. I am not at peace with this, but I am trying to be. I need to find my peace so that I can help her find hers.

I made up a ghost story for Dot about a little girl (Rose) whose parents died and who lives in a house with two ghost children, Tinny and Bean, who help take care of her. I may try to write it down and work it into something besides a long bedtime story.

Your dad is moving departments, and the transition is kind of sad and stressful for him, but he will get to teach fewer and smaller classes, which will let him spend more time with his students and still (this is the hope) make it home for dinner at least four nights a week.

I know that if I had been able to keep you here with us, we probably wouldn’t have had Dot, not the exact Dot who is the eight, and the funniest, most stubborn, most thoughtful eight year old I know. I think though, that there must be a universe, even if it’s the one I make up in my head, where we get to have both of you, where you get to have each other and drive each other crazy and hatch plots to catch the Easter Bunny, and gang up on your dad during tickle wars. That’s what I want, that impossible thing, that world where you would almost be ten.

But I’m here, in the realm of the possible, and I’m doing okay, really. Mostly. I’m binge watching Grey’s Anatomy, though I skip most of the parts with children in peril. And we’ve started watching an episode of The Flash (or Series of Unfortunate Events, or Lost in Space) together in the evenings. Your sister talks through most of Lost in Space, but the other two shows hold her attention pretty well.

I planted petunias and geraniums in front of the duplex this year. Very traditional and very girly (lots of pink and purple). There are a few sweet pea seedlings there, too, for which I have high hopes, and a clematis. I find it satisfying watching the clematis climb its trellis, the way the tendrils seek out and latch on to their supports. I need some yellow, though. I’m thinking snapdragons.

And? Oh, yes. I miss you. I love you. I wish you were here.

One comment

  1. Always glad to see a new post from you! ❤

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