They say or maybe I should say we say as parents we don't love one child more than another. I have four and the question has been asked, my response is always no, I don't love ______ more than I love you! I don't, I can say that and stand strong behind it. I do, however, love each child differently. Each one of my kids has such differing personalities and attitudes and there are parts of this that I love and adore and appreciate in different ways. I love Kayse in what seems to be an almost profoundly different way then the other kids; not more, but somehow closer and tighter then the others. She has been my rock for nearly 3 years. That is a lot of pressure for a five year old, a two year old, for her I know.
When I was pregnant with Liliahna the older two kids, Izayah and Keondra, were in elementary school all day and Kaleece was at pre-school for most of the day. It was Kayse and I that hung out when they were gone. She was my lunch date, we had mommy and me gymnastics every Tuesday, she went to the Dr. appointments with me; she was the first child I was home with all day everyday from the moment I brought her home from the hospital. When Liliahna passed away the kids were all off at school, Gerald was at work. It was once again her and I hanging out, struggling to carry on with life together. I say she is my rock because at that moment in my life had I not needed to be awake and functioning to care for her I would not have been. She was the reason I woke up in the morning, she was the reason I showered and left the house on occasion. It would have been so easy to send the older kids off to school and curl up in a ball and just be for 6 hours, I could have done that and I could still do that. Kayse wouldn't let me do that. She has always been full of more hugs and snuggles than any of the other kids and I truly believe she just knew I needed them more than ever before. I could cry in front of her and not have it matter. My tears didn't bring out her tears. She didn't seem to care if they fell down my cheeks everyday, all day.
Maybe she did. Maybe I've had more of a profound affect on her than I thought or imagined possible. Maybe I was and am being unfair to her. I have three other kids that could share in the burden of keeping their mom from falling off the cliff, I have a husband that could share that burden. I have myself that could just put my big girl pants on, brush myself off and say get over it. Why does anyone have to help carry the burden of my sadness, why! Why am I so sad? It's been three years-I never actually met her. I don't even know what color her eyes are, how can I still be so sad. It all seems so strange to me. Kayse has helped me in so many ways and yet if you were to ask her about Liliahna or her baby sister she wouldn't know who you are talking about. She has helped me survive the loss of a sister she doesn't even remember. Maybe she has been changed by all this; would she be a different child had we not lost Liliahna, had she not unwittingly become my rock.
I remember last year at this time when I went in and signed up for the pre-K lottery. I was so hopeful that she would be selected and could start school and make some friends. We had a life in Okinawa, with friends and lunch dates but here we had nothing, just us. I sat and watched her play with her imaginary friends, and it broke my heart. I couldn't help but think what a good big sister she would have been. I couldn't help but feel sad for her that she was missing out on being a big sister and having a little play mate to terrorize her. I couldn't help but wonder how the two of them would play and interact with each other. Every day was and is a question, a great big unanswered question. I so wanted Kayse to be able to start school, but I was afraid for myself because I would be alone. What would happen to me if my reason for being during the day was gone? Would I have some sort of psychotic break, would I get off the couch, would I even stay awake? There are days I do have a major melt down, there are days I'm in my pajamas until 2:30pm, there are days I sleep on the couch until the girls walk in the door. That is my reality, right now.
My rock. She is full of life and full of attitude. She is incredibly expressive both physically and verbally. She is my strength and my courage. She is my little spitfire that manages to lift me out of my worse funks with a single hug or random "mommy, I love you". She is a blessing. She is Kayse.