My son is an only child. He has a brother in Heaven who he never met. Today, after spending the morning with Grammy and Grampy, he insisted on playing ‘the floor is lava’ in our basement.
We gathered yoga mats and pillows, the dog bed, a blanket, and a stool. We had to stand on the stairs and yell “the floor is lava” before bouncing from one obstacle to the next.
I am sure he wished he were playing with anyone other than me. Between being quarantined and summer, he has to be sick of us, and yearning for a playmate.
When our angel was little, I thought a lot about his being an only child. I thought about all the missed giggles, sleeping in tents, and that bond that only siblings have. But, as my husband always said, we were “one and done.”
There was no circumstance where our angel would have a sibling. My pregnancy was high risk. He was born 16 weeks early. He had special needs and required our full attention. And shortly after he was born, I had a hysterectomy due to cysts and fibroids.
And then, he went to Heaven. And we were not finished parenting. That yearning called, and we began the process to adopt through foster care.
And now we have this vibrant, curious, and beautiful six year old, with an imagination I envy and an energy that is contagious. He made a tail and ears and a collar out of construction paper yesterday and pretended he was a puppy all afternoon. He clearly wanted some of the attention we give our new puppy.
For three years, he has been an only child—our only child. And just like our angel, he needs all of our attention. He suffered trauma, some of which we may never know or understand. And he is sensitive, and kind, and bright.
But he’s alone. And I know how lonely feels. We all do right now. We are isolated and separated and alone.
All I can hope is that his loneliness helps form his strength and resilience. And he will navigate this world independently. And appreciate that we have given all of ourselves to him. To him and our angel in Heaven.