I am humming the song that Vicky used to sing, “Sittin in my high chair, my chair, high chair, sittin in my high chair way up high….” I forget some of the words but we liked it any way it came out with our made up words. “Sittin’ in my car seat, my seat, car seat, sitting in my car seat, buckled up tight!” I was looking for your car seat that I’d tucked away someplace a few days after you left. I couldn’t remember where I put it. In January Ella and Kalen will come visit and one of them will sit in it when we go places. I found it in AJ’s old room along with Ellie’s crib, snuggly blankets, her diapers and wipes. Folded into a puff of yellow is the down comforter that used to be Mia’s before you and way before Ellie was born. When one memory slips into our minds and hearts, its like opening an overfilled closet, everything, and I mean everything comes tumbling out. I usually close the door really quickly so I don’t get buried in it all. I am just too busy with everything to hang out there. I want to close my eyes really tight so I don’t have to look. But sometimes, like this morning, I stay and look at what’s there.
AJ’s room is not his room anymore and hasn’t been for a long time. How long will I call it AJ’s room, I wonder? People sometimes call this feeling I have empty nest; no kids at home. AJ was the last one to leave. He was our youngest son. Your daddy is 2 1/2 years older. Parents have to let go of their kids. That’s the point-raise them up and out. That’s just one layer down. And everything is tangled into the next layer. There’s this other one that groans like a tender bruise. And this morning, as I run my hands along the crib rail, I remember Mia. She slept at our house like you used to. She was your daddy’s first baby. She got very, very sick and moved in with Grandpa and me. That seems like a long, long time ago. You didn’t ever see her because she died. Remember when the blue parakeet died? Like that. They are both gone, but we can hold them inside of us if we want to; little zones of loving warmth that we will always be within us. Making us who we are.
I pulled out your car seat to have a look at it and moved some things around. AJ will visit this week for Christmas and may sleep up in Bonny Doon. He sometimes stays with friends. I set up the futon for him. I like smoothing out the flannel sheets, fluffing two soft feather pillows and one fiberfill;, they way he likes it. It’s okay if he doesn’t stay here but I hope he does. He wishes he could see you. Maybe he’ll send you a card that you’ll get in your mailbox in Montana. Did you get mine? I sent you one with Grandpa and I talking. We had fun deciding how to use the ten seconds. We have so much to say. Way more than 10 seconds worth. Last night on the phone was funny when Metro barked and then Georgia. They were saying hi to you in DOG-talk. You’d been crying and it made you laugh. We all laughed and you finally could say good-bye. I’ll call you again. Maybe this time I’ll get Tony the mule and Chief and Roxie to whinny and call out to you. We’ll see. Lovingly, Gma