I feel the dull thud of my heart as I realize he thinks she starved.
No, Nolan. She didn't starve... she... I falter...
And this is when my astute youngest child intercepts.... paging Dr. Colton
Nolan, she was just too unstable. They wanted to do a scan to find out what was wrong, but she was too unstable to be moved.
I realize his ten year old brain heard way more in that room than it ought to have...
Oh, Nolan says, I get it...
But I wonder if he does.
I'm not sure any of us do.
We are just trying to bend.
We're filling up the empty spaces with activity. We baked zucchini muffins and bread. I cringe as I hand Colton the grater for the zucchini. But the time to learn is now, not later. Urgency for the boys to know everything I can teach them haunts me daily. I swallow my need to protect him from scraping his knuckles too, knowing his heart is already bruised.
I'm learning there is little I can do to protect them from the hard and the messy.
Nolan insists he can use the electric knife. As the knife clatters against the glass of the bowl he is using, again, my nerves fray and I want to steady his hand, and grab the knife away. But I don't. He is determined to learn. His sense of accomplishment evident as he lines up the bags ready for the freezer.
This summer, he ventures away from us a little more. He accepts the invitation when his friends ask him to sleep over. He hugs me tightly promising he'll return the next day and it won't hardly feel like we've been apart at all. He admits the next day he laid awake for a long time, not being able to fall asleep. But he managed. He relied on himself.
He is bending. We are all bending...