I've felt strange about introducing Toby to Iris. I know that other parents have had mixed reactions about introducing their deceased children to their "rainbow" babies and I was never really sure how I was going to approach that with mine. I didn't want to put any pressure on her. Of course, she was never going to meet Toby or know him. The cemetery, to her, is always going to be a place that she visits but it's not going to hold any special meaning for her. She doesn't know anyone buried there. For now, it's just a place that she runs around and plays in.
Sam has no memories of Toby. It's sad that he doesn't remember him, but he doesn't. We don't pressure him to remember him. I think it's almost better that he doesn't remember him. I mean, what if he remembers that last morning? Who the hell wants to remember that? Or the funeral? Or the hospital? I wish he could recall the fair or Nashville or our picnic or even just hanging out and watching cartoons but if he doesn't then he doesn't. It's sad but that's life. I remember and that has to be enough. He can look at pictures and point Toby out to us, but only in the same way he can look at a movie and point out characters from something he has seen a lot. Toby is no more than a character from a film to him.
We no longer make Sam visit the cemetery with us. It's a long drive and it's boring. After being there for a few minutes he gets bored and antsy. There's nothing for him to do and he's ready to go as soon as he gets there. We've started leaving him with Mom.
Iris, on the other hand, has a grand time. Of course, she wants to run around and take flowers off of other people's graves but since most of the other people buried around Toby are our relatives we figure it's okay. Last time we were there she kept taking small petals off of Uncle Linden's grave and putting them on my shoes. Wasps had made a nest on top of Toby's headstone, which was weird, and we tried to clean off around it while she played. We were there for about 45 minutes. When we got ready to leave we said, "Tell Toby bye," and she very plainly called, "Good-bye Toby," and waved.
A few days later I was on the computer and pulled up some pictures of him. She crawled up in my lap and we went through them together. I showed her some pictures of Toby and Sam and she laughed each time she looked at them. "There's Sammy!" she cried each time she saw one of him. Whenever Toby came on screen she would get quiet and then say, "Baby."
I don't know what I am going to tell her about Toby yet.
She is definitely becoming more aware of him, though. I'm not sure that I want him becoming the dead brother that hangs around the house, his presence everywhere. But I don't want him completely gone either. I like having his room decorations in our office and his pictures on the wall. I like decorating his grave on his birthday and major holidays. But I am also getting to the point where it's becoming less and less important to include him in things, too. That makes me sad.
Yesterday I was talking to our dog, Lucy. She was being a real brat and I said, "It's like I have three children!"
That makes me sad, too.