A two year old with no nap is a force to be reckoned with. Hayden had been woken up at 5:00 AM that morning and after an hour drive to the hospital, she had waited for six hours to come to the visiting room.
I was worried she wouldn't sit still for pictures. I was worried she would demand all of the attention of the nurses and Caleb. I was worried she wouldn't understand who the babies in the pink hats were.
Instead of the chaos I imagined, the opposite happened. The minute Hayden entered the room, everyone from the nurses to our family noticeably relaxed. Smiles returned to everyone's faces, and the weight of the situation lifted briefly.
Hayden ran to Caleb and let him swoop her up in his arms. Then she turned to me and jumped into the hospital bed to snuggle for a moment.
She sat on the edge of the bed and allowed Caleb to show her Adaline and then Amelie. She touched their faces and hats and held their hands. Hayden's eyes in the picture above tell the story better than I ever could.
Later Hayden told me that she remembered the pink hats and that the babies' skin was cold. That still breaks my heart.
This week I've been wearing a charm necklace with Hayden, Amelie and Adaline's names inscribed on it. Hayden hasn't seen the necklace in awhile and is fascinated with it. It gives us an opportunity to talk about her sisters living with Jesus and about how sad Mommy is that Amelie and Adaline can't live with us. I also tell Hayden how happy she makes me and how we'll be able to spend lots of time with her sisters in heaven someday.
As I was writing this piece, with Hayden playing with her play dough next to me, she leaned over and gave me a big hug.
At times three year olds understand our grief better than we do.
A year ago, I wrote more about Hayden's visit with her sisters. You can find that story here.
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