My neck is bent over to the side awkwardly and a small fuzzy headed baby is snoring softly into my ear. I'm lingering over post-bedtime snuggles with my youngest. He is decidedly a mama's boy, and I am 1000% ok with that.
This past year has been both one of the sweetest and hardest years we've had since we became parents, the second time- not the first. Our days are full, loud, messy and unapologetically ordinary. I could write for days about the complexities, the contradictions, the messiness of being a bereaved mom.
But I'm drawn back here to write about my first son, the one who would be eight this Sunday. The one whose absence stretches over everything- to quote someone much more eloquent than me.
The son I can't hear snoring or hold in my arms. The one who made me a mom, though I never experienced motherhood with him how I longed to. The one my arms ache to hold, the one I think of every time someone asks me how many children I have or when we take a family picture.
The missing one. Our first son.
This grief is a sacred thing... a beautiful, rich, hope-filled part of us.
With a five year old, a two year old and a newly one year old baby, this year has looked different from years past. There are no long pauses of quiet rest or reflection on the boy who would be eight.