One of the first questions someone asks us on a frequent basis is, “How many children do you have?!?!” This is not a surprising question as I walk past wearing an infant with a toddler on my hip and two beautiful little girls leading the way… One probably in plastic Barbie heels. It’s the answer that comes with a bit of anxiety. “Five,” is always my answer without hesitation. The following inquiries into their ages and location usually lead to the explanation of Benjamin. I have no anxiety talking about our angel, but more about how I want the other person to feel about asking the question. I answer positively and without pausing as if every family has their own angel in hopes not to make the person, whom I just met, feel uncomfortable or regretful for getting into the small talk with this nutty mom hauling a load of kids.
This week though, I realized that in a month, when listing their ages, Benjamin will no longer be three. In my mind he will always be three, but to go along in order of their ages, saying that he is three automatically throws the red flag for more questions. Once again, I love discussing Benjamin, but a stranger may not initially, and sometimes, I just don’t want to deal with the initial reaction. I know I shouldn’t always be concerned about how others react, but it is something I can’t help.
I am not sure how the year has passed so quickly. Part of it feels like a dream, part like a nightmare, some of it like it was a decade ago, but most of it like it was yesterday.
It is never my intention to mention Benjamin for sympathy, or pity, my close friends know I can’t stand that reaction, but instead, I talk of him to make sure he is remembered. He is still my child I love and care for… He still holds a space in my heart next to the rest of them, he is just the only one that I don’t have to worry about their future and their salvation… and hopefully, he will help push the rest along in the right direction.