So here I am again, thinking, "Why did I say I would write by every Tuesday? Did I not realize what I would be doing on the 23?" Oops. Peyton and I spent today traveling to visit family in Denver and for those of you with kids, you know what the day before a long trip is like. My good intentions of having everything packed two days in advance didn't pan out quite like that, but I thought I was doing pretty good to be done before midnight last night, especially since we had to get up at 4a.m. today!
I enjoy parenting so much more now, and am thankful even in the difficult moments for the joy Peyton provides. Traveling was such a fun adventure with him today and I loved watching the experience through his eyes. The best part of the day was when he quickly turned to me, urgently wanting my attention, and said, "Mom! I see God! He's out there!" He was looking out the window of the plane at the clouds with amazement and awe. I wish I had gotten him to go into more detail - I hope he will remember it so he can explain it better tomorrow. His look and the urgency of his demand for my attention was thought-provoking.
His comments over the last two days keep me laughing. He was over at a friend's on Monday, and the little girl he plays with there is a three year old enamored with princesses, princes, and fairy tales. I heard from her mother that she will lay on her bed, close her eyes, and then call for her dad to come and "kiss her awake." I hope they don't mind that I tell this, but you have to know that part to understand the next part. The mother told me upon my return that afternoon that she overheard Peyton say from his reclining position on one of the children's couches, "Come kiss me!" I guess he said it not once, but multiple times, until he got a response (though assuredly not the one he was hoping for). The little girl's response was, "What? Why? Are you a princess?", to which Peyton responded, "No! I'm a king!" I think the funniest part of the scenario is not necessarily what he said, but imagining him lying there on the couch, waiting for his beautiful princess to come and kiss him, yet with all the innocence of childhood (I hope!). How come we never hear the king's side of the story?
I am sure the above creates an appearance that life has carried on into more jovial times and that we are moving on, and we do have joy and happiness in every day, but it amazes me that grief can coexist with these blessings. Imagine for a moment that a cloud is not a representation of trouble, but of beauty. It is as if there is a lining to every beautiful cloud, but instead of a silver lining to the clouds, there is a faint shadow around most every cloud. I wouldn't say it's even a shadow, but a blurred edge, where the defined blurs into the undefined until you don't know when you stopped looking at the cloud and began to see the sky. I know that sounds a little odd, but so to is the mind set right now. It is a strange place in the middle ground between here and there. Some moments I am so caught up in an experience, enjoying a bug with Peyton, or a conversation with a friend, and the next I am carried away in a breath by something that reminds me of Drew. He seems to be a part of every thread of me. I read something that put this into perspective for me today and validated my theory that I was addicted to Drew (and of course, still to Peyton). The article I read said that the oxytocin a woman's body produces at birth creates an immediate addiction to her baby. Any interaction with that baby then only enhances that addiction. If I was addicted to Drew and he was so abruptly gone, it only makes sense that I would go into shock and withdrawal. As with an addict (in this case, to nearly the best possible thing created!), even when you have not "fed the addiction" in a very long time, it takes very little to bring that urge rushing potently to the surface, creating an intense desire and simultaneously an angst over the realization you can't have it. How do people manage that feeling?!? I know the loss of Drew was much different than dealing with an addiction, but it helped me understand how the desire for him could be a part of every thought, whether conscious or unconscious and how at times the longing can overwhelm me.
To close, I have to share where I have found joy over the last week. We shared a wonderful weekend of camping with some dear friends two weekends ago. It was Peyton's first camping trip and he nearly bubbled over with excitement all weekend long, fizzing out only when he hit the car seat on the way home. One of his highlights was swimming in the kid-friendly lake nearby. On Saturday, as we were winding our way along the forest trail to the lake I saw a patch of clover nestled among the roots of a tree. As Peyton chattered along behind me, I found myself slowing down to peer into the patch, in faint hope of spotting a four leaf clover as I walked past. It occurred to me as I realized there were none to be seen that had I found one I would have been so fascinated with my treasure. What feelings come to mind when you remember the childhood hunts for the elusive clover, and what did you feel if you were successful? What if you spotted it when you weren't even looking for it?
Drew is my four leaf clover - different, yet beautiful; unique among so many; a treasure often discovered where you least expect, and one you would never return; and with a magic that can cause you to marvel without explanation.
I have never felt the richness of life like I do now. For that I am blessed.
My sons, I love you, and Jordan, I love you more!