I just laid Tobin down for the night and the big boys are gone. Kevin is dropping off Hackett for a few days of fun at the lake with family. I'm alone, and my first response is tears. I hate that today is July 28th, that it is almost August. I want time to slow down. I want summer to slow down. I want life to slow down. It is all going too fast.
Hackett seems to be growing up at a rate that makes me uncomfortable. I embrace it, love parts of it, but I find myself grieving the little boy that is quickly becoming a young man. I have good intentions of writing things down in a journal. To remember, but I don't. I have the crazy ability to remember events so clearly, so I was sure I would be fine. Thought I would recall each sweet conversation, every funny word spoke, but I don't. I can remember them for other sweeties in my life, but I see Hackett everyday, and those days and moments all seem to blend together. What I do remember is how completely in love with him I am. I adore him. He is not perfect, even though he believes that is the standard that he should achieve, but he was perfectly made for me. There is no doubt in my mind that God intended me to be his mommy. The joy he brings me is beyond measure. Being a mother is the most beautiful gift, one that is difficult to treasure at all times - amidst the long list of to do's, but it is my favorite thing on the planet. There is nothing I would rather do than be with my kids.
This week I found myself missing California. I always miss my dear friends there, but what I was truly longing for was that time period. We moved there a few months before Hackett turned two and left shortly after his fifth birthday. To me, these were the golden years. I had just him. It was the two of us. Everywhere, everything, we did together. His hand in mine. I may not remember every moment, but I will always treasure that time. He no longer needs my hand to guide him, and I am so proud of the responsible young man I have raised, but I miss the little boy who needed his mommy. it has gone too fast.
I cannot seem to move past the guilt that weighs heavy on my heart for the last two summers. Have you seen that blog about having only 18 summers with our kids? To think that I have lost two of those with Hackett, and at such amazing years, where he wanted to be with me and was grown up enough to go and do, breaks my heart. I woke up a few weeks ago and before I even got out of bed I started crying, grieving the loss of time. Three summers ago, we knew no one, having just moved here, still trying to settle in. We made the best of it, but it was quieter than we were used to. Two summers ago, I spent in a haze of grief, but every day I carried on for Hackett. Last summer I spent in a hospital bed in the living room and recovering from the birth of Tobin. They were hard summers, hard years. Hackett and I had a sweet conversation about the summers past, and he told me this is the best summer ever. I am thankful to be making up for lost time, but it hurts my heart that it is lost.
I am left wondering if I am extra emotional about lost time, because I lost an entire lifetime with Koen? I know I am not alone in the feelings of time moving too fast. If I am this emotional about Hackett going to third grade, what on earth will I be like the summer before he leaves for college?
See? WAY too grown up.
He's ready for Michigan Tech, he just needs a giant backpack and a scientific calculator.
It seems he was just struggling to catch the ball in his mit, and now he is throwing strikes?
He just may be the best big brother ever. Rocking his crying brother to sleep. He is a little daddy to Tobin and the best helper to me. He will be an amazing father and husband.
Yesterday, Tobin turned one and he had an amazing day. He may not understand what a birthday is yet, but food is his love language and lucky for him, I speak food fluently. When he wasn't eating he was showered with more toys than he knew what to do with. My sweet friend was emptying her basement and we were the lucky recipients of so many big boy toys. And they all arrived on his birthday. Not every moment can be fun, as you can see. Waiting to unwrap your gift is painful. Eating so much cake that it keeps you up at night ... also painful.
Memories, for me, can also painful. I think most people reflect on the birth, and events surrounding it, on their kids birthdays. We do it every year with Hackett, it stirs up happy memories and joy. Yesterday, as I did that silently in my head, I felt in awe of of Tobin's life, such gratitude, but also sorrow. I remained positive when pregnant with Tobin, I had no other choice. I tried to reside in hope, but I wasn't there all the time. My mind would drift into the darkness. I envisioned Tobin's funeral. Planning it. Preparing for it. It all happened so fast with Koen, and if I had to do it again, I wanted to ensure I would not live with regrets. Our road was not easy and it was difficult for me to understand. I trusted that Jesus would continue to hold me through whatever circumstance may come, my faith in that never wavered, but I know that prayers don't offer a gaurentee for our plans. God has his own, even if we don't understand it. On the day of Tobin's birth I was afraid. So very afraid. As they brought me to my room, the very room where I delivered Koen's lifeless body. The only room I ever spent time with him. It was too much for me to bear and we asked to be moved. I couldn't stop crying through all the pre-op, so many emotions swirling. I remember asking multiple times "he's breathing?" right after Tobin's delivery. The reassurance of "yes" was the best memory of the day for me, even as I laid on the operating table, separated from him, Tobin was alive. We had made it.
I had a moment yesterday, where I struggled, unable to keep my patience. I was upset for being snappy on such a happy day. But the emotional overload can be so great at times, and often I don't even realize it until after. Koen won't celebrate a birthday. No cake. No gifts. He won't grow older. Life continues to move on without him. Had he remained in this world, Tobin would have never been. I don't think I will ever be able to fully wrap my head around that. I miss Koen, miss the life he would have lived, the time we would have spent together. But I cannot imagine our lives without our Big T. His personality is larger than life and I adore him. He has my heart. He's healthly. He's happy. He's here, and I cannot believe it's been one year.
It has been almost a month since my last post. My longest time away from this blog since I started. My mind has been spinning with thoughts, but I have been unable to find time to spill them out on my keyboard. So sweetly I see that many of my readers have been checking on me, this last week especially. I so appreciate your support, even though it is just a silent visit to my blog.
I think we have managed to cram three summers worth of memories into this month alone. It is as if I felt we needed to make up for lost time. By the end of the day I have used every ounce of energy cleaning up from one day of fun or preparing for the next. What an amazing problem to have. It has been almost one year since Tobin arrived breathing and healthy in this world. That allowed us to breathe again and find our joy. I appreciate the simple things so much more now.
I will be back and writing more soon. I just need to slow down the fun first!
I am Jackie.