Caroline's friends took her to buy a dress the day after you died. These are two newer friends, bold and sassy, but they love our girl for who she is. They don't hang around her because she is sweet and listens. They don't go to her only when they are sad. They like her for herself, moods and all. They haven't given her a label. When you were in the hospital, they brought her snacks. One of them gave her an infinity necklace after you died. She found a wonderful dress, taupe with a bold black tribal pattern. She tried it on and carefully said "It made me think of Gramma." She wore it to your funeral with black tights, combat boots, and her funky glasses. Cristhian came so she would have someone who was there just for her. Together they looked like the poster for young "hipsterling" couple. When she started to cry, I unknowingly pushed his hand away and held our girl. He didn't mind. He stayed by her side the entire time, except when he took a break to play with Lily.
The weekend before you passed, she got into a shoving match with a girl during her soccer game. The girl kicked her on purpose, and Caroline wasn't going to take it. I wasn't there to see it. She texted me to tell me about it. I was secretly so very proud! Right after I read her text, Lily caught a huge catfish (remember, when I left your house, I said we were going camping?). Lily held it in her arms and let it go back into the lake all by herself. Our girls are so strong!
Work is really overwhelming right now. It feels like I can't do anything right or on time. I spend all this time doing something only to be told that it didn't need to be done after all. I find myself getting bitter and losing my temper. I know I can I figure out a way to handle it. I would figure it out quicker if I could talk to you, but I know I'll figure it out.
Lily joined chorus at school. She is so excited! She has been chewing her nails to the quick and licking her lips raw again. It was so exciting to see her step outside of herself and do something new, take a moment to stop worrying. She makes connections in her violin lessons that astound me. She stays late at group classes to watch the older kids play. She still hates to practice, though. It's all baby steps.
Caroline got to go to her first music festival. A couple of college boys were flirting with her. Luckily they left before I hit them with my backpack.
Caroline and Rob ran a 5K today and then she went to her soccer game. She is so tired, but the running seems to give her a release.
My class is sweet and funny. No one is running away from me or trying to choke me this year. Yesterday, when I was explaining how our evacuation drill works, one of my little guys raised his hand to tell me "I growin' a mustache." I bit my lip not to laugh and remembered that there is so much more to my job than paper work.
This is going to be a beautiful fall. The leaves seem so bright this year. Rob went out front and used the leaf blower to make a leaf tornado for Lily and her friends.
I miss you and love you so much. I am trying to take care of everyone here. It's a lot harder than you'd think. For someone with such tiny feet, you left big shoes to fill.