more time, please.

a few months ago, all the kids needed new undies. (they'll love me for sharing that someday.) standing there looking at the character underwear, i ask noah which ones he wants. i could see he was standing back a little from the rack and when i asked he was like, "um, can i just get plain ones? i'm not really into the character ones anymore."  and just like that, at nine years old, he crossed over. 

no warning.  

no heads up so i could prepare my heart, and standing there in the aisle i felt the squeeze of the going away. 

it steals your breath. it does.

+ + + + + + +

this week, i walked into my room, to put myself to bed.  when i opened the door there was a box resting between my pillow and danny's.  

(there was also a little zipper pouch addressed to me, filled with dried rose petals.)

the box was addressed:

mom and dad, not mama and daddy

nothing could prepare me for what it contained.

i opened the box, and my heart lay inside.
she put my heart in a box.

this monkey has been her favorite stuffed animal for years. she fell in love with it when she first laid eyes on it. it has been her Velveteen Rabbit.  Monkey and Bugs (her blanket) have gone everywhere with us.  

i walked into her room, holding Monkey, and said, "you're done with Monkey?" "yeah", she said.  

just like that.  eight years old.

i said, "ok, now listen, you can't do that with Bugs next week, okay? i can't handle that."  to which she responded by shoving her unraveling, tattered blanket under her covers to signify that she wasn't giving it up any time soon.

naturally, i've spent the last two nights with my fingers wrapped around Monkey.  she may be able to let her go, but i'm not ready yet.

i'm going to need more time.