Last night Toby came in late after a daddy-date, and I held him in the chair in his room. It's getting more complicated to hang on to him with all the arms and legs and his tallness, but we found a way and he snuggled up to me, just like he did as a infant, back when his very presence reminded me that God hears prayers. "Tomorrow," I said, "You will go to big boy school. And that's different for us, but you are going to really like it." He turned his head in, too tired to be a brave big kid and whispered, "I don't want to go to big-boy school, I want to stay with you..." And that was the moment, the moment when I let go with arms that ache to hold on, when I have to fight every instinct that says, "Hold on, hold on!" and force myself to send him, to send them away from me and towards who they are becoming. "You're going to love it," I stammered, lying to myself and telling him the truth.
This morning, I walked in with them after promising Toby I would stay as long as he needed me. Surprisingly it was Brynn that got shy and nervous. I stood in the corner for a minute while they got settled, Toby completely disregarding "school etiquette" and chatting up the boys around him. I am grateful for this school taking my kids mid-year and being willing to take on unschooled kids, literally and figuratively. I worked my way to the door, so proud of my children for their adaptability and willingness to embrace change, and at the same time, feeling a tearing inside, a separation from the babies I fought to carry, fought to keep alive, fought to teach joy and contentment, compassion. I am fighting now to give them what they need, to give R2 what he needs, to embrace this season and to be joyful and content regardless of the circumstances.
I cried all the way home, ugly cried. I cried because my first baby is so, so sick, and because my plans have changed, and because my life is out of control, and because God is good but He's not obedient. I cried because this is not what I wanted. Then I stopped crying and bought baby wipes and changed some diapers and accepted it. It's not what I asked for but it is worth it, and I know God is with us. Life is still good, God is still good. I am so, so blessed, and I will be thankful.