It was Patterns Day at my school. So I felt slightly disheveled when I showed up at the kids’ after school care wearing Disney Aztec leggings, a floral top, and dissimilar multi-colored cheetah print scarf. I hastily shuffled down the hall to claim my two smalls before anyone noticed that I was dressed like a lunatic.
Like a slap in the face, a kick in the butt. Like a tidal wave crashing over me and crushing my lungs. On a locker was marked “Lucy R.”
Naturally, the Mama Bear raged out, ready to pounce on the person who made the mistake, the one who possibly outed my son to everyone. I felt my stomach drop and my cheeks redden. It was probably one full minute of panic, but in the moment it seemed like forever.
Don’t worry… about six lockers down in blue and purple paper marked “Eleanor and Luca R”.
But the Lucy wasn’t mine. That Lucy doesn’t belong to me. In fact, my Lucy only gets to remain a memory.
It’s the little things that I find have the deepest scars. While I’ve been completely focused on surviving this uprooted, uncomfortable, and unprepared part of our life, there are days when I completely forget what we were. And how our family got here. I forget this is our story.
If you’d asked me six months go why Devin and I decided to eradicate our entire southern Minnesota existence, we would have said things like: we want to be closer to family, I’m hoping to get back into/start teaching, blah blah blah. It sounded and, more importantly, felt real at the time.
Life didn’t give us an easy choice. Leaving was hard. His happiness is worth it. He got a new beginning. We do no correcting. No explaining. He’s just a little boy who’s excited about his upcoming 8th birthday. He loves Legos. He loves screen time. He’s normal- we’re normal.* (*Kind of.)
Life doesn’t give us easy choices. Like ever. I didn’t choose who my children were, are, or who they will become. I do, however, get to choose how to love, support, and celebrate them. And day after day, I DO choose it. Or rather, WE ALL do. Our tribe. The ones who continue to love, support, and celebrate our family.
It’s the little things I forgot to mourn. When I find myself staring at a locker bank, dressed like a maniac, staring at the LUCY R. tag that doesn’t belong to me. I forgot to mourn the Y. I miss the Y. I’ve been too busy that I forget to give us the grace we deserve. Surviving is now. We’ll thrive later.
One day at a time.