Little J has been with us for almost 2 years, barring the time she was not while Eva was very sick and shortly after her death. In all this time I have not bought her a new dress.
At the beginning Little J wore clothes that I had bought ahead for Eva but were still too big for her.
Clothes Eva never got to wear.
After Eva died there was a good second hand store that I could provide easily for Little J without too much tearing on my heart.
Thank you Hand me Down Depot.
At Christmas I eyed the racks of Christmas dresses but, again, did not purchase any. I could not buy two so I bought none at all. Opting, instead, to borrow a gently used one from a friend for the couple of times a Christmas dress was called for.
Next week is Little J's third birthday. The racks are, again, full of dresses. This time flowery and springy. I knew Little J would be excited to receive one of those dresses.
I know that I won`t be able to buy Little J a dress at Easter because it will be too painful. Because the one single Easter that Eva spent with us I forgot to put Easter dresses on the girls. And I never got to have another Easter with Eva. Again, I cannot buy two...
But the 28th is Little J`s birthday. A day just for her. I can buy a dress for her, on her birthday. I wouldn`t have bought two on her birthday. I would only have bought one.
Today I bought Little J her very own new dress.
It was the cutest one on the rack and yet I avoided it...looking at all the other dresses, hoping one would attract me. But, ultimately, I ended up with the one I was avoiding. A white dress with multicoloured butterflies all over it. A dress that has Eva flying all over it.
I like butterflies on Little J but they are so Eva to me that I try to avoid them too. It`s like a dance I dance with only myself...the balance of the butterflies.
To everyone in the store I looked like a mom having difficulty deciding which dress to buy for her little girl...hmm...so many choices. To me it was a different kind of difficulty. It was not just buying a dress. It was choosing to buy a dress for Little J, only for Little J, and simply because of the joy in Little J`s eyes when she opens her present on her birthday morning.
And then I shared the dress with the boys and they covered Little J`s eyes when we paid for it. And Samuel put it under his coat for the ride home and they are thrilled to be giving her a dress she will like so much.
And I am happy they are happy. Because I am discovering that so much of their joy depends on mine right now. Their attitude and love for Little J is a reflection of mine. And my attitude and love is a choice. A hard choice, granted, but a choice nonetheless.
And my children are watching me.