We are finally home and I am unpacked from a weekend of going this way and that, splitting up and getting back together, starting and almost ending together, too! Thursday was our doctor appointment, which is always very time consuming, and the kids stuck it out, waiting patiently (as patiently as we could expect anyway) in the waiting room. The look on their faces when they got to see the ultrasound pics was worth it, though. They loved seeing their little brother! Then went to a fun concert that the kids enjoyed (mostly) and was a "blast from the past" for us--since they sang mostly 90's songs. :o) Then the girls & I did swim meet while the boys went back for Reese's last soccer game.
Anyway, they came back for the 2nd day of the swim meet and Reese had his Chase book packed in his backpack. He had taken it to school last week but I had a talk with him about how to share it; and that I didn't really want his teacher to read it to the whole class (mostly because I know she wouldn't/couldn't and I would never expect her to) because it was our (semi) private book that we shared as a family. It wasn't really a book to read to the class, I told him. He was okay with that but still wanted it in his back pack and I was fine with that. Sometimes we need to have something physical with us honoring Chase, memories don't always cut it. So when he had it with him at the hotel, it was our reading material for the night.
We were already in bed so I asked Emma to read it to him since they were sleeping together. As I lay there in bed listening to her read, I pictured every page and every picture as I have that book etched in my brain. Partly because I made it and partly because there are only so many pictures I have directly relating to or of Chase and they are in the kids' books. As I expected, Emma reached the last third of the book and her voice started quivering and tears began to fall. I ached for her, for me, for all of us, and laid there in a puddle of tears and as soon as she finished, I got up and walked over to her, leaned over and gave her a long kiss on her forehead and cried with her. I gave Reese a kiss, too and he asked me to lay with him so I did. We talked about Chase for a little bit and then I told him that the baby was kicking me like crazy and he couldn't wait to meet his biggest brother. Reese told me, "I know, if we get to bring him home." I told him that we were going to bring this baby home and he said, "maybe." Twice more I bluntly and specifically promised him that we were going to bring this baby home and he kept doubting me and then finally said, "but you don't know that, mom." This shattered my already broken heart and I cried as silently as I could laying there next to him but this did not go unnoticed. Finally he said, "can you cut it out, the crying?" I had never heard him say "cut it out" so it almost made me smile. I told him I loved him. And then he said, "you are the greatest mom in the world" and my broken heart melted.....back into place as I continue on this journey of life without our sweet little Chase.