Today was a milestone day. It started out pretty ordinary but then I remembered I had forgotten to finish filling out the enrollment application for Audrey Nole to go to preschool next year. That’s no big deal. It’s a form with name, address, birthdate, contact info, etc. I don’t remember why I didn’t finish in the first place, but I remembered randomly so I pulled up the computer and started back at it. It was fine until it wasn’t. There was the question that I’ve been dreading answering. The question that doesn’t have an easy black and white answer. The question about whether or not Audrey has any siblings...
I’ve somewhat dreaded this question and somewhat anticipated it. It’s one that takes some gentle navigation but it’s one that allows me, even requires, to talk about my son. It gives me the opportunity to share, even if only briefly, his name and a tiny part of his story. So even though this particular question feels slightly like what I imagine being hit by a freight train feels like, it also sparks that innate motherly joy when you get to talk about your kids. This morning was about like that. I looked up from the computer and asked Adam if I should answer yes or no. Both of us kind of felt like it could go either way. In the end, I checked yes. Yes, always yes. Even if it’s hard. Even if it’s going to sucker punch the unsuspecting person on the receiving end of the answer. Yes.
Yes, because I have 2 children. Yes, because Audrey has a baby brother. Yes, because it’s the truth of my story. Yes, because George Mason existed and his life, even though short, is worthy of being shared. Yes, because if nothing else, Audrey’s grief is silent and evolving as she matures, and those that are tasked with caring for and instructing her need to know this part of her story.
I thought that answering that question this morning would ruin my day. Except instead of ruining it, it allowed me to think about George Mason. It gave me a reason, beyond being his mother, to say his name and share his story. That was heavy and a decision I didn’t make lightly, but it was a decision I’m so glad I made. And I hope, that the next time I’m faced with this question, I remember the odd joy it brought me today to answer yes.