Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Dear Sophie...

I've become accustomed to the fact that there are three Sophies in our homeschool world. One of them has become very good friends with Megan, a friendship that I'm sure will only grow stronger in the coming months as we begin our homeschooling journey with Megan. I will never forget my time early last year getting to know this family. Their older child's name is [W] and their youngest child's name is [K]--names that I used all the time when I wanted to talk to them. But Sophie? yeah...that one I just couldn't bring myself to say. I would call her "sweetie" or "kiddo" when I needed to refer to her or talk to her directly. After a few meetings like this, her mother (fairly) assumed that I simply didn't remember Sophie's name, so she told me, "This one's name is Sophie." (Yeah, I knew that.) I explained my situation and why I had a hard time and she was so unbelievably understanding and wonderful about it. She let me take my time, get to know her kids and waited until I truly felt okay calling this beautiful little girl by her name--which I do easily now, with no problems at all.

Today we went to a birthday party for Sophie. (Though I should note that even as close as we have become in the past year, I could not bring myself to write down, "Sophie's Birthday" on my calendar. I wrote, "party @ [M family]'s residence.") I hadn't really thought much about what would happen at the party...until it did. We all gathered in the living room and began to sing, "Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Sophie, happy birthday to you!" Right when I got to the part about "happy birthday dear Sophie..." I began to tear up. I became so suddenly aware of the fact that I will never, truly, get to sing that song to my little girl and how unbelievably unfair that fact is. Wiping my eyes on Megan's dress as she sat cuddled in my lap, I couldn't finish the song. Here it is, more than 4 years after our loss and I still tear up over this seemingly easy, unrelated incident. Of course there are other little girls in the world named Sophie and of course they have birthdays. Duh. But know what? It might be a while until I can sing Happy Birthday to any of them. My apologies to all the Sophies in the world.

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