Photo: This wasn’t a week for lots of photo opportunities. This is the yard in the sunshine yesterday. Or was it Wednesday? I don’t know. I can’t keep up with everything.

 

Ursa Major got off the bus today and took my hand the way he does every day. I asked him how his day was. He said he liked it, but he said it was also a sad day. He poked out his little lip, fighting back tears.

“What in the world?” I asked, alarmed. “What happened, baby?”

“[One of his classmates] is leaving [kindergarten]. He’s moving away. To a new town. He won’t be in my class anymore.”

Tears came down, his little heart breaking.

There are some things that Mommy can’t fix. I squeezed his hand, told him I was sorry. I wanted to cry, too, feeling a bit of heaviness in my chest in reaction to his sincere and sweet tears.

“And he’s going to get a new bus and everything,” he went on to say. All of the elements of kindergarten are still mystical and personal for Major. He owns his school experience. To think that someone is leaving it, getting new things, is a mind-blowing concept to him.

I told him we’d bought cupcakes at Wegmans. That cheered him up a bit. I told him that his brother was waiting for him. That seemed to help, too.

When we got in the house, he bounced over to Minor and gave him a hug. But then the mood went somber again as he told his little brother about his friend.

Minor asked an interesting question: “Well, was he your friend?”

Major gave an even more interesting answer: “No. But he was somebody.”

I really love this exchange. I’m not sure that I can articulate it, but I will do my best.

The loss I feel when thinking about Grandy is still quite raw. While I’ve had to nod and smile through the condolences of people who I know and see, I’ve still also had to keep my feelings tucked away. To show my tears would be an act of intimacy that I can only reserve for the absolute closest of confidants here (also, I’m not big on crying in public). I’ve put on a lot of masks this week. I haven’t been my full self in order to keep putting my feet on the floor in the morning and get through the day.

But I have wondered a few times this week about whether or not my masking my feelings is actually a good lesson to teach my boys. Frankly, I’ve wondered if my compartmentalizing is actually a sign that something is wrong with me. Maybe I should talk to somebody. Maybe I should be more sad, more weepy, than I am. I said on Wednesday that I’m ashamed of how functional I’ve been. I still am. I know I don’t need to lose it, but I just wonder why I’m not more sensitive, tender. This couples with a sort of odd mom-guilt: I don’t want to teach them that the loss of a family member is something you “just deal with” and “move on” from. I want them to know it’s a process. I want them to know it’s ok to be sad, and that their feelings matter.

So for Major to get off the bus with tears in his eyes, having “lost” a classmate to the journey of life… it made me feel a little better. No bad lessons were taught this week. Breathe. Breathe, Woman. Breathe!

I think I’m grateful for Major’s answer because I love that he recognizes other kids, sees himself a connected to them, understands that he shares a class and a culture with them. The fact that this classmate (who he named) is a “somebody.” Not a stranger, not just some “other.” He recognized this classmate as a member of a body he belongs to and values, thus he values him as well. Wow… there is just so much power in that emotional growth.

Anyway, Dear Reader. I simply cannot believe that it’s Friday. I’m bewildered by it.Where there was nothing here last week, I do have wishes for you this week, Dear Reader. Thank you again for your patience with me.

On this rainy Friday, I wish you quiet. I wish open windows and natural sounds coming through. A brisk autumn breeze, the rain beating down on the sidewalk, the clatter and patter of the leaves falling to the ground. I hope the world offers a soothing feeling this Friday evening, Dear Reader. I hope it carries you away to peaceful places. I wish you a bit of intimacy this weekend: the private smile of your favorite person, an inside joke only one other person shares with you, a kiss the surprising that allures, the touch of a hand that lights a spark of joy. I wish you an excellently told story from an unexpected source that surprises and inspires you. I wish you your first warm, savory broth, preferably filled with freshly harvested veggies. I wish you two beautiful leaves found on a meandering walk, a peek at the moon, still gorgeous if you know where to look… and most of all, I wish you the warming words of someone you love, and the affirmation that you are, indeed, loved profoundly. Near and far, there are people in this world who love you beyond measure, who miss you when you’re not near. And please, learn a lesson from me: call someone this weekend and tell them you love them. Invest your time in the people you love and admire, let them feed you and nourish you with their stories. You never know when they won’t be available to you anymore.

I’m so grateful to you, Dear Reader. I’m grateful that you care about my story, and I’m beyond grateful that you sometimes choose to share your stories with me. Thank you.

Until Monday, take care.

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