I have found that I start getting hypersensitive to grief triggers a couple months before Olivia's birthday.
A few weeks ago, a friend posted a picture of her little girl and boy going to preschool together. They don't even look like us- towhead pale blonds, both of them- but there was a picture of them from behind them, walking on the sidewalk hand in hand, and the little girl had a too big for her pre-k backpack and the little boy had the same backpack as Luke's dog one, and ugh it just hit me that they should be going to preschool together like that. Luke loves holding hands with his "friends", he would surely love holding his big sister's hand even more.
We haven't really talked much about Olivia to Luke yet. I mean, he's 2. We have the children's book Someone Came Before You but I don't really like reading it that much and Luke doesn't really have the attention span yet I don't think. (I mean, it has been awhile since I tried but since it doesn't feature flaps, trains or vehicles, or animals, I am not thinking it is going to go over that well.) I have finally gotten around to framing a few pictures of the boys and so I have put a couple pictures of Olivia up too. I did casually say to Luke "this is your sister, Olivia." And he looked at it and then proceeded to go play with his trains or something like that, no comment or reaction, not that I expected one, but, I don't know. I hate this.
Anyway, today it started out raining and then ended up a hundred million degrees outside. I have discovered a Burger King near our house recently that has an awesome indoor playplace, not as insane as McDonalds and I think the food tastes better. Luke really needs to get out of the house to burn some steam every day, in some form, so we went there and I bugged Joe into coming along to keep me company. Anyway, we get there and there is a little girl about a year and a half older than Luke arriving with her grandmother. She was nervous about climbing up some of the tubes and ropesand Luke has already been to this place 3 or 4 times now so he eagerly climbs in and tells her "come on."
They played together fabulously and then the little girl asked him his name and I prompted him to answer and ask her her name. Olivia. Joe was waiting for our food at that moment but it was like getting punched in the stomach. I know Olivia is a super common/popular name and we are going to run into girls named Olivia. It wasn't so much that as it was the age difference, the way they just started playing together, the fact that she had long brown hair and brown eyes and easily could have passed for our daughter. And then Luke started saying her name and I had to leave the playroom to go get a brownie sundae with tears in my eyes.
There was a time when I said that the thing that gets easier being around little girls with time is that they are all so different then when they are babies. Like most babies start rolling, crawling, etc. at x months and missing out on those milestones when we should have had a baby ourselves was brutal. But now that we are going on four years...there are so many variances on four year old's it's hard to know what I am missing on exactly. (Although I hear that the start of kindergarten is tough for lots of loss families.) But today, with Luke and Olivia playing together and Luke yelling for her to "come on Wivia!"...it was way too much like those waves of grief four years ago. And we are still missing out on everything. And it still really really just sucks.