To my surprise and relief, Lisa- a mom from church, emailed this morning just as I was pondering what we should do, saying that she'd be by at 10 am to take Audrey to the play group.
She has an extra car seat, and since she was driving- it was in a town I'm not familiar with- I even contemplated tagging along. The alternative is sitting at home grieving by myself- and since I had it in my mind I'd be spending the day with Audrey- I felt a bit thrown off by the sudden change. But then, I thought about sitting around with other moms- who have their husbands- making small talk about the kids- and thought- "Maybe it's just too soon for that." I had just been up late talking with Sarah- my new widow friend- about how I really need to hire some help...her suggestion- just so I can have some time to myself I can count on each week.
So, I got Audrey ready- packed a little bag for her with a snack, juice, and water- which she very proudly carried to the elevator and down to the lobby to wait for Lisa. I asked her what color car Lisa has, and she said "Why!" which means white. I asked her if it was a big or little car. She said, "Beeg!" I didn't know what kind of car Lisa drives, so I said, "Well, we'll find out!"
Sure enough, Lisa pulled up in a white SUV. I told Audrey I was impressed and she smiled proudly. I don't know too many 22 month olds that can give you all that info- plus it's been about 2 weeks since she went for a drive in it. So, yeah, I was proud. I told Lisa.
Lisa buckled Audrey in next to her own son, Caleb, and Audrey was entranced by the TV screen pointing at them in the back seat. I gave her a kiss and a hug. I walked back inside and waited for them to pull away. Then I saw Audrey's face turn towards the darkened window and look at me- even though I was inside the building. And I felt something new- something I haven't felt since the day you died. Usually I am eager to pass her on to someone else- feeling completely inadequate to care for her properly. But today, I missed her terribly- and felt a surge of love mingling with our grief, equivalent in size and weight. Bittersweet. It felt good.