Everett hanging out with family.
Last week, Elizabeth took Everett to the office to meet many of Chris and Elizabeth's coworkers. They organized a small fun gathering with cake and balloons, and Evie was a perfect gentleman while meeting lots of new people - alert and quiet! Our co-workers were extremely generous and thoughtful, ensuring to ask what we would be comfortable with in advance and not dropping any big surprises on us (like they usually do for wedding and baby showers). It was strange for Elizabeth to be back - she hasn't been in the office since a few weeks before Everett was born - but it was nice.
The next day, we also had a welcome party where Everett met some of our California community. We didn't have a baby shower for Everett when Elizabeth was pregnant because it felt wrong, so we had the "Welcome Everett" party instead. After he was here and healthy. Again, our friends were wonderful (especially the party planners and hosts!) and it was nice to introduce Evie to more people, and some special friends closer to Evie's age.
A very special day for a very special guy.
Not too unexpectedly, quite a few families canceled the day of and days before the party. Sick kids, sick adults, and even some contractions! We missed those who couldn't make it, but we enjoyed seeing Evie react to the new faces of those that did.
Speaking of reactions, Everett had the most connection with (and smiles for) the fellow loss parents that have met him. It's really an emotional experience for us (and it seems to be for them, too). Evie must pick up on that, because he puts on a show. Big, open eyes and a big, wide smile. For Elizabeth, it's these moments where some of the positive emotions of having Everett here are closest to the surface.
One thing we started at Everett's welcome party is quilt squares. We asked our friends to make squares for Evie, which will eventually become a quilt. We're excited to keep adding to the stack so he can be wrapped with the words and drawings of the people who love him and his big brother. There were a few drawings, cards, and gifts that mentioned Oberon - either directly or indirectly with Obie's bees. These never go unnoticed, and always give our heart a little hug.
Evie is growing and learning every day, and like almost all parents we are amazed and amused by him. He has a very sweet temperament (most of the time), and for that we know we are fortunate. It still all feels a bit surreal. While Evie's smiles make us smile and his cuddles warm our hearts, we still find ourselves missing Oberon constantly. With less time in the day to focus on our grief, sometimes it comes out in force. Sometimes triggers hit very intensely. Maybe it's a specific book that triggers a memory, sometimes it's a sound that Everett makes just like his brother. We talk with him about all his family members, including big brother Obie. There is a big picture of Oberon on the wall behind the glider that Everett often looks at while getting burped.
Rocking tummy time with his scared-of-camera face.
We've also been busy getting more pictures up our walls. The Oberon sunset photo Elizabeth had taken last year is now printed on a large canvas, hanging next to Obie's curio opposite a spread of four photos of Obie's bees that Chris took on hikes. We've also gotten some pictures of Evie up on the walls too, integrating pictures of Evie with those of Obie already on the walls. We'll run out of space eventually, but not yet!
New canvas pictures in the living room.