~Joseph Smith, Jr.
Every now and then, when I have all of Amanda's kids, it suddenly hits me very hard that I don't have all of Amanda's kids. Kylie and Claire alternate entertaining each other with antagonizing each other, and Keilana and Dylan go rounds over who Clayton's going to play with when each of them wants to play something different. When one of them ends up being the third wheel, its hard not to think that someone's missing.
It makes me wonder what Conner would be like now, how he would fit into this little bunch I watch grow together. Sometimes I'm almost convinced that if I turned quickly enough, I'd see a beautiful little blonde smiling eagerly at the group, just watching from a distance somewhere.
When you're a parent, its hard not to feel a loss like that deeply, even when its not your child, because you can't even stand to think about how you'd feel if one of your kids slipped away. Its hard to imagine anything worse. I'm not one that generally gives way to tears easily (though I admittedly get progressively worse with each child), but hearing of another parent's loss usually nudges me there, even when I don't know them.
But I take great comfort in knowing that I will get to know Conner better at some point. Amanda and Tim (and all the rest of us) will get the chance to watch him grow and learn, see more of his charming, contented smile. I take great comfort in knowing that, even though I'll never see him, he probably is watching sometimes.
I love all these little people, even if occasionally they make me want to pull my hair out. I never want to have to say goodbye to a single one of them.