As I'm sitting here looking at Shelby napping and the artwork on our walls from her playing with pens, markers, and crayons, I realized what I won't experience and what I will.
A few weeks ago, I picked up Dan's urn to bring it to the bedroom and Shelby reached up and wanted to hug it and carry it. I let her hug it, but it is still too heavy for her to carry.
That's when it hit me. This is all she knows of her big brother. All she has is pictures and what we tell her. Kids are known to see into the spirit world, and I'm sure Dan has been to see and play with her. I hope she doesn't lose that ability as she gets older.
The realization that Shelby is now doing things that Dan did, and some things that he will never do, also hit me hard the past few weeks. Her laugh reminds me of Dan. She is throwing things like he did (typical toddler). But he never really mastered holding a crayon or drawing. She has masterpieces on the walls.
Every parent compares their children, and when they did certain things. I am quickly losing that ability. By next year it will be gone.
This is supposed to be a joyful time of year, and Shelby helps remind us of that. But it is also a difficult time of year for so many. Grief never ends.