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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kindergarten

"Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come" by Nancy Carlson. The book arrives in the mail today. I thought that these free books we get were supposed to stop on Makiah's 5th birthday. Apparently not. I feel an invisible punch in the gut as my eyes trace over the title. One more reminder that she is not with us. That we had to return the clothes I bought during the end of season sales last summer for her to wear to kindergarten. That her friends can write their last names now, but she never got to learn.

I wipe down her baby toys. Her little sisters are grabbing things now. Time to pass on big sissy's things. She wanted them to play with them. No, she wanted to teach them to play with them. I sit in her room with the babies laying in front of me on the crisp white bedspread . I read her books to them and big, blue eyes like saucers bounce to the rhythm of the words. I sing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider," and two pair of lips curl into grins at the hand motions. I tickle little ribs and kiss four soft cheeks and two slobbery, pink mouths. Smiling on the outside. Inside I feel the crushing. The weight of her absence. The heavy silence when I stop. Another song. Another book. Keep filling in the void- the absence- the loss- the mystery of the missing. I want her room to be a happy place. At least for little hearts still free from pain. I push the smile back onto my lips and watch it reflect in the mirror of their faces. I soak in their love, and I can take it. Another breath. And another.

I slide the book on the shelf with all her others. And I hope. I hope that maybe in five years I will need to read it. "Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come."

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