Exhale

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“We have a dog too!” My daughters giggled in between puppy kisses given from a stranger’s dog.

“We have Emily and Luke… Luke died. My brother died too. His name is Graham.” Charlotte gushed.
“And Journey!” Eleanor piped up! “Journey is the baby that died in Momma’s tummy. He’s dead too.”
“And my Grandma.” Charlotte added nonplussed.

I sat a few feet away from the conversation, trying to keep my face soft.  I squirmed a little – actually squirmed.  I wanted to insert myself into the moment, offer an explanation, tie together lose pieces, redirect… I wished my children didn’t have such things to share… Sometimes, I wish they censored a bit more…

Instead, I sat quietly, as my brave, effusive daughters continued on – they had something to say after all.  The kind woman listened to the pain of small children disguised as one-up-manship, and offered very little in the way of judgement or shock. She received their story, and together the three of them moved on smoothly into the next vein of conversation.

I exhaled – there was no overwhelming sense of closure or peace – I just breathed in and out once more.