Tuesday, December 12, 2017

For the most part, I don't dwell too much on what could have been.  I try to avoid those kinds of thoughts.  There are times though, when I have this sad feeling in my heart for what I'm missing.  

We have some friends that go to church with us.  They have two boys and two girls.  The girls are twins and turning two soon.  Piper goes to the same preschool as the oldest boy so we carpool with them.  Piper sits between the twins and she calls them "the babies."  Yesterday was my turn to take Charlie home and of course, Piper wanted to get out of the van to go in and say "hi" to "the babies."  One of them was crying and she immediately went over to her and got her to stop crying by making her giggle.  Eventually, we made our way to the front lawn and she held their hands and walked them to a tree in the front yard and then taught them how to play tag.  The three of them ran around the tree trunk chasing one another.  After their game, they made their way to a green box in the yard and sat on the box.  One of the sisters pushed her other sister off and Piper acted like a mother saying, "No, Maggie.  We don't push our sisters.  That is not nice."  

I was talking to my friend but couldn't help but watch this interaction play out between Piper and these two little girls.  Of course, it was cute and made me smile, but it also gave me a little pang of sadness.  I feel sad for Piper and what she is missing.  She is supposed to be sandwiched between two sisters, each closer to her age.  Instead, she is kind of alone in a lot of ways.  She tags along with her brothers but they are in such a different stage of life than her.  She tries to play with Felicity but Felicity doesn't know how to play and she is very much attached to me and doesn't appreciate Piper's "loving."  

I couldn't help but think about how if I hadn't had the miscarriage, Piper would have a sibling about the same age as these two girls.  She would be running around playing tag and pretend with her sibling and I worry that by the time Felicity is old enough to appreciate and understand how to play, Piper won't care about pretend anymore or that she will be too old to play those kind of games anymore.  Before long, Piper is going to be like the boys and she is going to be more mature and Felicity will tag along and want Piper to play with her but they will be in different stages of life.  Piper will be finishing high school when Felicity begins.  

Again, for the most part, I don't let my thoughts linger into what things could have been or into areas that make me long for what I don't have.  I think though, that maybe this is part of grieving.  Laila's death and the miscarriage I had continue to have effects in our lives even now.  Piper wasn't alive when Laila died so I thought it would just be a story she heard about and she would tell people that she had a sister who died before she was born but the truth is, it affects her more than that.  Her life would look very different if Laila was still here and different if I had had Felicity a year sooner.  

After the miscarriage, I thought a lot about if I should try again and have another baby.  I didn't want Piper to be an only child in a way.  Her brothers would leave one right after another in the space of three years and she would find herself alone.  The thought that I kept having was that Heavenly Father loves her so much and He knows what she needs and He knows what experiences she needs to have and He will fill her life with the experiences and relationships she needs to help her grow.  Ultimately, I decided to have another baby and I'm grateful that Felicity is a part of our family and that she fills the role of little sister for Piper.  Our family doesn't necessarily look the way I had planned or envisioned but I still believe that Heavenly Father loves each of my children and that He will provide them with the relationships they need.  My hope is that my children will all be close and love one another and find a safe friend in one another.  It may be that the boys will leave and go on missions and get married and begin having children of their own and their sisters will still be growing and going to school and very much in a different stage.  Maybe their lives will be too full with grown-up things that they will not be terribly invested in their sisters' lives anymore.  Maybe Piper and Felicity will never be as close as I hope.  Perhaps the space between them will always prove to be just a little bit too big for them to connect and be close.  I hope not.  But if so, I believe that they will have other relationships that will provide meaning and growth for them.  I am close to my sisters but even if I wasn't, the Lord has placed women in my life who are close enough to me that they might as well be sisters.  

And I'm thankful for what I have.  I am thankful for the interactions I see between the girls and the way that Piper looks up to her brothers.  I'm thankful that we are homeschooling so that the kids get to spend so much time together and I hope this time together will provide lasting connection and deep friendship.  I'm thankful for the way Piper mothers.  I love to see her natural mother heart come out when she is around Felicity.  I love to hear that Piper wants to marry Eli because he is so kind to her that she wants to spend forever with him.  

Yes, I am missing something significant, but I also have a lot.

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