There is no other way to describe today. First, it was September 11th, and while I was not directly impacted, a lot of bad stuff has happened to me in the last 5 years giving me a lot of compassion, and in all honesty, I felt bad “living my life” today while others are in pain, I know firsthand how it feels to see everyone’s lives whizzing by while yours stands still in crisis. But at the end of the day, I did not pick Claire’s first day of school and today was it. I woke up excited and nervous for her (it had not occurred to me how I would feel about Con not attending), I knew she was slightly behind her class. She got put into the older two’s class because there are only three total girls in the school, her and identical twins, she belongs in the younger two’s class (her actual birthday fits into the older class, her adjusted birthday the younger), but she also needs to be with the other girls. Everyone else it seems understood they were going to school without mommy, I am not sure Claire had a clue, I tried my best, but with everything going on with Con did not really start talking about it with her until late last week. I started reading the book that cousin Lauren lent us every night, and talked to her about the book when we went to check out the classroom Tuesday, but wasn’t sure it sunk in, but then something amazing happened on the car line Claire goes to me “school?”, I said yes, still not having a clue what was going through her mind.

Anyways this morning we got up and took pictures with Claire’s “sign” and she was super excited that is until she actually got out of the car!



I held it together during our photos, but when we got in the car, leaving, Connor at first wanted to come, but then said “bubye mama, bubye Claire, Bubye white car” and I officially lost it. I should be beaming with pride my 25 weeker no one thought would make it was going to preschool doing everything age appropriate, I should be celebrating, this was a huge milestone, she was a miracle, a 25 weeker who was not supposed to live, yet alone thrive, but I couldn’t help but feel bad for all of us, while being proud at the same time. She deserved to go to preschool with her twin, I felt so bad for her, I felt like Casey and I had been through enough we deserved to send both our kids, and poor Connor, he would just love that playground at St. John’s, this sucked. I pulled it together by the time I was at the front of the car line, but when they pulled Claire out screaming (with my permission), I cried again, not because I was worried about separation anxiety or scared this was the right thing, but worried because she like us had been through so much, and worried she would think I was leaving her again (which I really am doing on Monday, no one should ever have to do what we are doing, it is so unfair to EVERYONE involved) and associating school with that, it was so hard because we are scarred in so many ways.

I pulled it together to take Con on errands, and we ultimately passed by the Heartworks House, I had wanted to stop in there for so long to say thank you, and figured while feeling the way I was, today was the day. We practiced “thank you” and Con was repeating it like a robot, I figured we were all set, we went in, not the least bit nervous (I am a complete introvert so this is huge for me) and I think their board was having a meeting, they dropped everything and said hi, what a welcoming group of women, they made me feel at ease, Connor clammed up and screamed at the attention and forgot his “thank you”, but I am happy we went, I can not reiterate enough what a wonderful organization and charity this is, seeing some of the women in person I have been emailing just solidified that for me, one word, AMAZING. They put me at ease and off we went to pick up Claire, I was a ball of nerves, but her teachers tell me she did not cry after drop off and really enjoyed play dough! When she hopped in the car she was excited, not scared like she is when I return from the hospital. I do in my heart think she enjoyed her day, just feel so bad she has so much other stuff going through her mind, that no 2 year old should, as we go into Monday, I know you are all praying for Con, but please pray for Claire too, she is only 2 and should not have to live away from home or be without her family, but just like she rocked nursery school today, 25 weeker and sll, I know this tough cookie will rock the next 90-100 days, but no 2 year old should have too do please pray for her too!



2 thoughts on “Bittersweet

  1. Big milestone in a child’s life, going off to PRESCHOOL!!! Yeah, Claire, so proud of you. Connor will have his Big Milestone Day, too. AND I have a feeling, you will make that special, for him. Prayers and hugs.

  2. We pray often for Claire too. None of you signed up for or deserve all that comes with Cancer, but seems even more true for the little ones and even the siblings.
    Don’t know what book you read, but the kissing hand is a great one. You all can even pick out a stamp and truly stamp the top of her hand as a reminder of you and Casey.
    I am so glad she is getting this regular milestone and know with present teachers and you all she will excel even if behind. I know so much is about to change. Again. Will be here – hoping, celebrating & praying for you all.

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