I horde pictures of Braeden on my phone. I have imported them onto my laptop too but I like carrying them around with me.
Until I want to take a picture and have no space on my phone.
I decided to make some space but first I had to check and double check that I had the pictures on my computer. Looking through them, I was hit with a wave of missing Braeden.
A year ago, it would have ended in tears. Now, it's more bittersweet. We're on the downhill slope and even though it's a long and gradual descent, there is an end in sight.
It almost (almost) makes me feel happy that I miss him so much because he'll be back! Next Thanksgiving, I'll be having turkey with that turkey.
Braeden makes me feel grateful for a lot of reasons. I'm grateful to be his mother. I'm grateful that I was entrusted with his good and sweet soul to be in my care. I'm grateful I didn't get in the way of him becoming who he is.
I'm grateful for how much fun he is.
These pictures, taken last Memorial Day and texted to me by the incomparable Rebecca Justesen, show the ready-for-anything spirit he brings to any adventure:
I know from personal experience that he makes everything better.
I'm grateful for the resilience that he shows over and over. His lighthearted and quick smile masks the challenges that he takes in stride and works through and ultimately triumphs over. He's an example to me.
I'm grateful for his goodness. Braeden wants to be good. He's always wanted to be good. He's always been quick to apologize.
I'm grateful for my son, my first born who would do anything for his siblings and would probably engage in hand to hand combat to protect them or me.
(But then he would probably apologize.)