I hide behind the glare of the summer sun in the door, hide behind the glare of the book on my tablet. He's alone, no older brother tormenting or teaching him how to be a maniac. Luckily he's figured that out all on his own, mostly. I do have my moments.
Laconic and prone to naps I don't have the energy a 6 year old would have. That relentless running; that sturdy, focused dash at top speed yet three year old slow would be beaten by the speed of his older brother across the yard, which would now be too small for the four of us.
But here there's three. Us and him. Her and us. Them and me. Whatever the daily configuration happens to be, it always comes back to us three.
He doesn't know yet. He has no inkling.
There was a moment about a year ago that I have told no one about when Zeph happened to see a framed memorial to his lost brother. It was a photo of Silas, his footprint, our tattoos, and his name in the sand at the beach during sunset. It was on the floor near my dresser where Lu and I can always see it.
"Baby is sleeping," he said when he glanced at it and my heart was knifed. I nearly fell over.
"Yes, baby is sleeping," I replied and we continued on our daily adventures with my heart pounding and my skin prickly and flushed all over my body.
I rolled on calm because there was no one else to play with, just him and me. I couldn't collapse like I wanted to. I couldn't freak out and howl at the unfairness of the world. I couldn't sit down and tell him everything, that he had an older brother Silas but that Silas was dead and none of us ever knew him at all.
He's two point five. I'm forty. Silas should be here with us but he's not, so I have to make sure Zeph has all the fun he would have had with the older brother he will never have.
I am totally distracted by the growth of this being. I tell him every day that he's my best friend, my squishy boy, my Zephyr. I am so busy loving him I don't have time to be destroyed by how sad I am he's alone.
What excuses do you make for yourself to get by?