I have a lot of friends on Facebook who have had children in sync with ours. With a few of them it was almost a running joke when one of us would announce her pregnancy, the other would be right behind. In general, there is at least one other friend of mine who has a child the same age. Yesterday the back to school signs were taking off in full force on my feed, some were from Monday just showing up, some were from Tuesday, and some from yesterday. I saw two of my familiar family's only to be utterly confused. The first sign said "First day of Kindergarten", I thought hmmm...I swore we had kids together...but going through my list of kiddos nothing clicked. I continued to scroll and the next set of signs read going into third grade and going into Kindergarten. My mind said I swear we had kids at the same time, why can I not figure it out? I zoomed into the picture to get a better look at the child, hoping that would nudge my memory. I was confused, I squinted and said in my mind, Meena (our soon to be 2nd grader) is going into 2nd, right? Blankness in my mind...and then BAM, I knew it...I DO, rather I should? have a kindergartner also...Sonzee was going to be in Kindergarten this year.
I just put a rock on her grave announcing this specific missed milestone, her aunt even made a "back to school" sign, and I took a picture with it, but clearly, that wasn't enough for my brain. How did I forget? Did I even really forget, or is it simply the fact that she isn't part of our daily routine anymore so it's not in the forefront of my mind? I spent so much time during her life trying to disassociate Sonzee from any of the typical children on my newsfeed that staring at a typical 4/5-year-old didn't even register to me they were the same age. I used to be distracted by caring for her that it essentially softened the blow so to speak when the fact that the children I was looking at were in fact her age. Now, even that is gone. Now it is left solely up to my mind reminding me not only what developmental stage she had yet to master, but also of what age she would be at.
One of the most challenging aspects of processing her death continues to be thinking of her beyond that sassy 4 years 11 month and 22 day year-old little girl. I suppose seeing the children around her continue to grow up and celebrate another year of achievements and milestones will be my constant reminder of what could have been in both her life with CDKL5 and the life we never knew of her, and as it has been on this entire mothering journey, it will continue to be a double edged sword.