Our Rose. She is a delight. She lives large and feels her feelings hard. At the beginning of September, I met with the kindergarten teachers at the girls’ school, an opportunity to help them get a sense of my child as they figured out class placements. I pondered how to describe Rose.
Rose loves hard. She is physically affectionate and not shy to voice her feelings about things, whether good or bad. She is a cuddler, usually the most likely one to climb on top of me or want to be in my arms. She still wants to be picked up and carried. She likes to have me close by but she isn’t shy of new situations or people either. She’s comfortable going up to other kids in class or at a playground and introducing herself. She’ll confidently tell adults her stories and adventures.
Rose loves to do what her big sister is doing and they have many similar interests. She likes to have her own space and toys too and to assert her independence sometimes. When she grows up, she wants to be a mechanic and fix cars. She thinks maybe she’ll live in grandma and grandpa’s basement (that’s where they keep the ice cream sandwiches) and help grandpa in his workshop. She’d like to have 2 kids – sisters named Lily and Petal.
Rose is funny and goofy and sweet and exhausting. She still seems so little to me that sometimes I look at her big eyes and round cheeks and wonder how she can possibly be going to school already. We love her so much.
We celebrated Rose’s birthday over the weekend with a friend party. This was the first real party we’d thrown since Pearl’s 5th birthday in February 2020 and the first time we’d ever had a just kids party. (We left it open for parents to hang out if they felt more comfortable since many of the kids are new friends.) Rose invited the children of our good friends who live nearby and four friends from school that she is getting to know. Her chosen theme this year was Birds so we made birdfeeders and played games in the backyard and ate vanilla cupcakes.
On Sunday we celebrated with Peter’s parents and they served up Rose’s dinner of choice – plain tortellini – along with brownies and ice cream for dessert.
Fortunately, the weekend was followed by a professional development day and the girls had the day off school because we needed time to play with new toys and recover from all our partying. Pearl and Rose were particularly sweet together that day, playing in unison and co-operating well. We also had a beautiful day to walk down to our local beach and spend some time playing there too. I feel so fortunate to have the life I do.
Rose’s birthday comes close on the heels of the anniversary of my second miscarriage. In 2016, I miscarried at 16 weeks pregnant. Our baby was a little boy and I still think of him often, particularly at this time of year, as the season turns from summer to fall.
In this past year, I’ve had a friend who went through a miscarriage reach out to me a few times for both emotional support and practical advice. Recently her question to me was, “Does it get easier?” This is the question I’ve been asking myself ever since my first loss in 2014. My honest answer to her was No, but yes. I still think about it. I don’t cry about it anymore. I can talk about the experience calmly. It still feels like I’m ripping open something soft and delicate inside of me when I do. For the lack of less cliched language, the wound is no longer raw but there will always be a scar.
When I think of Karissa at the end of 2016, my heart breaks for her. I wish I could reach backward and scoop up that fragile young woman. I wish I could give her just a glimpse of what I see as I write this – two pyjama-clad sisters, a table spread with Lego, the remnants of a birthday party scattered through the living room. Today a 5-year-old who none of us can imagine our family without. A life I couldn’t envision back then but has been given to us by the grace of God.
This week, on the anniversary of the day I first went into the hospital back in 2016, this was my Bible reading:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.”Isaiah 43:2-3