Monday, November 28, 2022

A Surprise, But Not A Surprise: When Kids Ask Tough Questions

It's November. Most of the country is totally focused on food, shopping, decorating, and more food. We are focused on those things too... but also Obie. 

November 24th was Oberon's 8th birthday. As hard as it was to imagine Oberon as a toddler, it's impossible to imagine him as a kid. The forever baby-ness is starting to feel strange. He wouldn't be a baby anymore if he was alive - not even close. And yet, that's all he was so it's where our hearts normally sit.

Ready for Obie's Bee Day 2022

Over these years, we've learned how to (mostly) manage our grief. It's not that it has gone away, but that we've spent so much time getting to know it. We knew we'd be deflated when our Obie's Bee Day plans were upended with illness this year, but we also knew we could mostly keep it together.

And if we had stopped to think about it, we would have realized that this time of year is likely to make Everett and Imogen ask questions. So here we are - after we made a birthday cake, sang 'Happy Birthday' to a brother that couldn't hear us - it's not surprising that the beasties are soaking it in.

It's good that we've had some time to learn how to navigate and compartmentalize our own grief, because we have to be as present and focused as possible for Everett and Imogen. Listening and answering their questions, not dismissing. Being honest, but also gentle. Acknowledging all the feelings that come up - sadness, embarrassment, confusion, fear. 

Obie's Bee Day Cake - November 24, 2022

There's a million things on the to-do list, but it all gets put on hold when the big emotions show up. The last thing we want to teach our kids is that emotions should be hidden and bottled up, or invalidated and glossed over. This does get tricky when meltdowns happen because a plastic gem is missing (true story) or their sibling looked at them (also true).

One day at a time. Sometimes one emotion at a time.

Imogen's 5th Birthday Party

Hanging out with these animals at the San Diego Zoo

Almost our Holiday Card

One of the 30-some selfies on Elizabeth's phone

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