The First Time You Forget

Today is the 13th of the month.  A Tuesday.  No big deal.  It started as it always does- like a 3-ring circus.  Raising boys really is like raising wild animals.  At least one person was screaming, “Where are my pants?!,” while someone else is running through the halls stark naked. At one point, they may even have been peeing together…at the same time… in the same toilet.  You know, just a regular day in the Briscoe house.

Living the dream.

Honestly, I hadn’t noticed anything different about the day until I saw a notification on my phone; Timehop.  Whoever thought of this app is alright in my book.  Seriously, how cool is it to be able to look back at all of the photos, conversations, and little moments and reflect on our past-selves?!

Who we were.

Friends that have come and gone.

Friends that are still around.

How our children have grown.

Or not.

That’s what got me today.  The “not.”

Today, Christopher would be turning 32 months, or as a non-mom would say, 2 years and 8 months old.  Such a mundane milestone.  Really, there would be no celebration.  I may not even have noticed.  But, I would have had him here.  And that would have been enough.

Today, it isn’t this milestone that made tears stream down my face.  Every single day  I’m faced with reminders that he is gone.  Some are easily swept away and others bring me to my knees.

No, today wasn’t like any moment I’ve yet to experience.

Today, I forgot.

What did I forget, you ask?

I forgot how old MY child was.  How old he would be.  What he would be capable of.

As I was looking at the photos on Timehop, I casually thought, “Awe, he would be about 20 months old.”   It took me nearly an hour to realize that he couldn’t only be 20  months…. he’s been gone almost 18 months.  And, then.  That’s when the pain came.

How had I forgotten how old my baby is?

Such a simple thing.  I’ve done it to my older boys before.

The pain came with the guilt of forgetting and then realizing that he would be THAT old already.

I hadn’t truly realized how old he would be right now and how busy he’d be… the guilt that I felt following that realization was immeasurable.

Guilt is an awful thing.  It eats you up.  It consumes you.  It unravels the very threads that are keeping you together.

I realize, now, how silly this morning was.  Briefly forgetting what this day represents wouldn’t have been important then, and certainly doesn’t take away the love I have for my sweet Christopher.

When my tear-streaked face dried up, I just sat.  I prayed.

I am not an expert in prayer.  I simply pray because I don’t know what else to do or who to turn to.

So, heavy-hearted, I prayed for comfort because, in that moment, I was far from comfortable. I prayed that God would love my son until one day, when I’m old and gray, I get there and can love him myself.    And, mostly, I prayed for patience.

Patience to wait until I get to see that curly, blonde-headed boy that we call Christopher Riley.

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