‘Mom, we need you. Brother is crying!’ Is not out of the ordinary in a house full of boys, especially when we are homeschooling and together all of the time. Normally this means someone took someone’s toy or they were ‘playing’ and someone got hurt. For a moment, I contemplated telling them to work it out but something felt different as Peanut was trying to tell me why Monkey was crying. It takes about 3 seconds to get upstairs and as I was listening to Peanut I realized what had happened. And sure enough, by the time we got upstairs to see what’s going on we found him laying on the bed crying with a book beside him. They love looking at books and had found a picture book from Peanut’s first year. In this wonderful book are three pictures of PawPaw holding him. Cory and I both new instantly what was going on. When asked, all he could say was ‘I miss PawPaw.’
One of the worst feelings as a parent is seeing your child sad and not being able to fix it for them. I would give anything to make it so Monkey could be with PawPaw again and have more memories. This time when we asked him what he remembered about PawPaw all he remembered was him in the hospital and dying. I knew the day would come, he was so little when PawPaw passed away that you can’t expect him to remember all the other times before. No matter how often we talk about him it was inevitable.
We talk about PawPaw a lot, we all miss him very much. It is interesting how differently we are all affected and when it hits each differently. For me, it’s a song on the radio or when I’m in church or when I let myself think about how Peanut never knew this wonderful man. For Monkey, pictures are the trigger. He can talk about PawPaw and be ok but looking at pictures have a strong effect on him.
Now, I’m sitting at the table watching the boys look at pictures of PawPaw on Cory’s phone and remembering him. It seems to have helped and has turned in to looking at all kinds of pictures. A beautiful moment between Cory and Monkey and now Peanut as they snuggle on the couch.
I can’t help but think about the boys and how little they are to have lost a grandparent or never known one of them and how fortunate I was to have all of my grandparents for my entire childhood and well in to my 20’s. And for any of you that know me, the moment he told me that he couldn’t really remember PawPaw was when my tears started coming, I controlled them enough to not completely break down but as the words came out of his mouth I couldn’t stop my brain from looking to the future and all of the memories they wouldn’t get to share with him.
I’ve been so stressed lately with stuff going on but it’s moments like this that remind me that the boys are what is most important. Being home I was able to be there for him. Granted, this experience probably never would have occurred if he had been in a traditional school because he wouldn’t have the book but what if something else had triggered it, I am blessed to be able to be home with them. I know I can’t shelter them from everything and that wouldn’t be good for them anyway but….I also am so glad I can be here for them to discuss these things.
And now here we are, they are back upstairs playing and I have on more than one occasion had to tell them to stop talking about poop. BOYS!
We are taking it all day by day right now and I have no delusions that I have any control at this point, that is a huge step for the control freak in me.
It’s all under control, just not by me. God’s always in control and we are making the most of our story.