Preschool Pick up

January 12, 2011 at 11:48 am | Posted in Death, Grief, mourning | 5 Comments
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I stood outside the twins’ preschool and waited for them to come out.  Another mother looked at me and noticed my necklace.  I wear a necklace with charms for each letter of my children’s names.  She asked “Do you have that many children?”  Not really prepared for the question, I said nothing for a while.  I then surprised myself and said “Yes, I have four children.”

As I wrote in this post, answering questions about the number of children I have is not so simple for me.  But, I heard myself continue to talk.  “Our first son was 14 weeks premature.  He lived for 2 weeks.  We never got to take him home.  Then we had the twins.  Last year we had a full term baby boy.  He went to sleep the night of December 25th, 2009 and he did not wake up.  We are still hoping to find out what happened.”  

I did not stop talking when I heard the other mother try to tell me that I did not need to go on.  I did not cry.   The twins ran out of their school and into my arms.  I packed them and myself  into the car.  I drove us home and thought of my other 2 children buried just a few miles away.

Not long after that day I was on my street about to go jogging.  Neighbors were walking by and pushing their twins in a stroller.   I had not met them before and said hello.  A very ordinary exchange between neighbors took place and then there was that question again.  “How many children do you have?”

I took a deep breath and repeated the explanation I gave the mother at preschool pick up.  Perhaps this is my new answer. 

finished telling the neighbors about my children.  I told them about Jake, the twins and Sawyer.

There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we
don’t want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without but have
to let go. ~Author Unknown


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  1. You are such a good mama who honors each and every one of your children.

  2. What a beautiful, difficult answer to the question, and a great way to honor all 4 of your children. I am amazed and proud at how strong you continue to be.

  3. Lanie,
    You have four children. It is as simple and as complicated as that. I went out with friends over the holiday to a bistro / jazz club. We had a lovely night. When we were getting ready to leave it had been snowing and the plows came through and blocked the sidewalk to the parking lot. A few very nice gentlemen were helping women manage the snow heap and one of them asked me innocently enough “where my husband was on a beautiful night like this”… I nearly dropped to my knees but answered, “he’s at home”… I don’t know why I said that. I still don’t know why I said that.


  4. Oh Lanie, that is always such a difficult question, but I completely understand and answer the same as well. Although our children may not be physically present right now, they are still our children and we should honor them…whether or not it makes people feel uncomfortable. Initially I struggled with how I would answer “the question”, but I figured that if people are going to ask, them I’m going to tell them…the truth. I wish I had more words of comfort…
    Thinking of you and your sweet little ones.

  5. Good for you to say you have 4 children. I have a hard time telling everyone I have 5 boys. 4 living and 1 an angel. My boys are quick to tell others they have a brother who is an angel.

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