Last night, the kids and I learned the sad news that Kelton's best friend, J, (from across the street, commonly referred to on my blog as the neighbor boy) lost his mom. A child losing their mother is a difficult concept for me, as an adult. It's been downright impossible for the kids to wrap their heads around.
It was bedtime when we heard the news. Needless to say, my two little ones wanted no part of being out of my sight while they absorbed the news that their friend no longer had his mom to kiss him goodnight, hear about his day, or wrap her arms around him to keep him safe.
It was a tough little while.
But no where near as tough as I imagine J, across the street, was having.
We read stories and I snuggled them off into their beds with a lot of "I love you's" and "It's going to be ok" statements.
I put myself to bed and laid there, thinking. Worrying about J. Wondering how losing his mother at the tender age of 10 will affect the rest of his life. My heart ached for him. I didn't sleep for hours.
As a mother, my heart ached for his mother. Knowing that she was leaving her baby boy. In a way, I hope she didn't know. But does that make it better? Easier?
God help me but I never want to know. I never want to be in the position of my children being without me when they are still children and needing their mother. Yes, they have two mother's but we are not interchangeable. The bond I have with them is completely and absolutely different than the one they have with their other mother. Both are strong. Vital. Necessary for their development. But they are completely different.
J has spent a good deal of time with us recently, and he is here again today. I'm glad he is here. I think it's good for him. It lets him get out of the grown up talk and hang out with Kelton. I talked with him, light and easy, just a bit ago. He opened up and I sensed he wanted to say more but Kelton came into the room and J stopped talking. I told him I am here any time.
J's dad isn't in the best of health. Has never been in the 10 years we have lived across the street from them. This morning, Kelton asked if we could adopt J if something happened to his dad. I told him that J has family, aunts and uncles, who would probably take care of him but yes, if there was no one to take care of him, he could live with us. When I was telling Stephanie about the conversation, before I even got to the point of telling her I had said yes, she jumped in with "Tell Kelton yes. We absolutely would take J into our family." (Is it any wonder why I love her so?)
I doubt it would ever come to that but I think it gives Kelton some sense of it being a safer world for J without his mom knowing that someone will be there to take care of his friend.
A child losing his mother. It just breaks this mother's heart into pieces.