It's hard to fathom another month has passed. The days seem to go by in a blink of an eye. Jack is crawling and in to everything these days, and Layne can't seem to find a moment to play without him trying to grab everything in sight. While it frustrates her to no end, Mommy and Daddy are secretly enjoying their little squabbles. We've waited so long to finally get to experience the joys and trials siblings bring to a family.
One thing your sister, Layne, really enjoys to do with Jack is swing. She loves to swing him in the little red baby swing we have hanging out back.
Mommy thinks back to when we first got that little baby swing back when you were so small. Inspired by Papaw's swing in our big favorite tree, Mommy picked this one up at a yard sale when you were about six months old. Daddy hung it under the deck right by the steps. It was a perfect spot since the decking was so high. As you grew older, you could swing so big. Mommy remembers the certain creaky sound it made as it moved back and forth through the air. Swinging made you so happy and your smile would be as big as your face! :)
Mommy remembers back to the day after you passed away. Coming home with Daddy to our quiet house on that July day, Mommy remembers going outside to the deck to have some time by myself. Sitting there in the quiet thinking of you, Mommy heard the light creaky sound of your empty swing beneath me being pushed around by the wind. The thought of your swing was too much for Mommy to bear. All Mommy could do is sob as I thought of how desolate life would be without you.
Just like a lot of your other things, Mommy and Daddy put your swing away.
The next summer, several months after your little sister was born, Daddy got out your old swing and added some fresh red paint and hung it beneath a new part of our deck. We would swing Layne just like we did you. And just like you, she would smile the biggest smile.
As time has passed your little sis has grown too heavy for your little swing. Layne's legs stretch down to the bushes that line the patio beneath. While your little swing is still the perfect size for Jack, Daddy knew it was time to build something new.
And build he did! On top of the hill, behind your special garden, Daddy spent all week digging holes, measuring posts, mixing concrete, and ordering parts. Daddy stayed up late measuring and putting together the hardware for the swings and trapeze. He even woke up extra early on Friday to hang everything just right. On Friday afternoon, Daddy surprised Layne (and Jack, too) with their new swing!
With the sweetest look of excitement, Layne ran across the yard, climbed into the center swing, and began to pump her legs back and forth as Daddy pushed. Mommy put Jack in the baby swing next to her. It was in that moment that Layne, with pure elation in her voice, made her innocent observation. "Daddy," she said. "There's a spot here for me, Jack, and Kaden!"
Mommy and Daddy just looked at one another and smiled a despondent smile.
We sure wish you were here, Sweet Girl, to take pleasure in that empty spot on the swing set.