Last week, the boys and I took a walk to our local nursery. I let Ledger help me pick out a few flowers to plant on our new deck, while the twins babbled and passed toys back and forth in the stroller. Once our stroller was full, we walked back to the front of the store to pay. While we were checking out, I heard Ledger possessively declare, “These are my babies!” (He’s still a tad bit over protective) I noticed a lady was now standing behind us in line. Within seconds, Ledge and the lady were having a conversation, I was only half listening, when I heard the lady say,
“Three boys so close in age, do you have any sisters?”
“Yes, Preslee!” (He literally cheered her name)
“Where’s she at?”
The cashier had just handed me my receipt, and we were in a quiet setting, with a few others now standing line. I knew the next word out of Ledger’s mouth was about to be “Heaven.” I panicked, because I knew it would create an awkward situation, and frankly, I panicked even more because I wasn’t in control of the situation. I quickly threw the flowers in the stroller, grabbed Ledger’s hand and said, Have a nice night!” and moved as fast as a mom pushing three kids in a stroller can possibly fit through a narrow doorway.
I found myself deep in thought during our walk home. Having a toddler speak well enough now throws a whole different twist to things. Never once did I imagine the conversations Ledger might have as I taught him about his older sister. As I looked down at my soon to be three year old helping me push his brothers in the stroller, my heart swelled with pride. I quickly came to the conclusion, who cares about a minute of awkwardness with complete strangers, I was proud, incredibly proud that my two year old knows who his older sister is. Three years ago, as we were anticipating Ledger’s arrival, my heart ached at the thought of my children never knowing each other. I cried as I held him as a newborn wondering how I would mix two completely different worlds. And now, I had just witnessed my Rainbow Baby, (child born just following their siblings death), excitedly talk about his older sister. I know if I wouldn’t have cut him off, there’s a good chance he would have told the lady a few random facts about Preslee as well. A connection definitely formed much more quickly than I had anticipated.
This Saturday, Ledger turns three. That’s double the age Preslee was when we lost her. Double. Each Birthday now is an incredibly big milestone for our family. Always bittersweet, but we try to forget the bitter, as we attmept to focus only on the sweet reminder of what we’ve been blessed with. As I reflect back each year, I can see how Ledger has helped us heal just a little more. He continues to be that ray of sunshine we were so desperately missing in our lives.
Happy Birthday buddy, we couldn’t love you more than we already do.