My mom, sister, nephew, and niece came to visit for the weekend. I was looking forward to seeing them, but leading up the weekend, I had these moments of pangs. All week, I'd ask Benjamin who was coming to visit and he'd shout, "AJ!" His four-year-old cousin is his best buddy, and it's so fun to see. But then he'd continue, "No Lane, no Lane, no Lane!" He didn't want his girl cousin, who is 7 weeks older than him, to join.
It made me laugh and it made my heart hurt. Because while I was ecstatic to be having a girl, my sister might have been more excited than me. We would both have the older son, younger daughter combination. And with our boys already best buddies, we had no doubt that our girls would be best buddies too. Both of us thought we'd be done with two kids, so we said that although our sons wouldn't have brothers, they'd have each other and though our daughters wouldn't have sisters, they would have each other. We called them sister-cousins.
I'll never forget my sister's screams when I called her, sitting on the exam table, to tell her that Lane's sister-cousin no longer had a heartbeat.
So leading into the weekend, I was excited to see them, but I was anxious too. It's hard to watch the older brother, younger sister combination now, even when they're my nephew and niece. It's hard to watch the boys play so well together, and wear their matching t-shirts. I miss Lydia ALL the time, but sometimes my heart aches a bit more than other times.
Still, Benjamin had a blast with his cousins, and I felt more like my old self than I have in a long time.
On Sunday, over lunch, AJ asked, "Why do you have a candle on your table?"
"We light it and think about Lydie," I told him.
"Because she's not here?" he asked. And then continued, "And she used to be in your belly... she died."
"That's right," I told him, my eyes watering. "Because she's not here, and she used to be in my belly, but she died, and we miss her very much."
"Me too," he said. "I want to see her!"
Me too, buddy, me too.
Then he promptly said, "I'm done!," got down from his chair, and went to play.
The mind of a four-year-old.
I wonder if these are the conversations we'll have with Ben when he has the words for them.