I was watching as I saw these brothers who haven't seen each other in more than two months walk off together hand in hand. Watching as they went to play together and share little secrets. Watching as the younger so admiringly looked to his older brother and thought that everything he did was wonderful.
And I am that mom. The mom that decides it's better to send one of her boys away. At 10. For a year. And thinks it's a good thing. Thinks it's the best thing for him. Because it is. I am still convinced of that. I am still convinced that this is somehow the best for him. The best for his brother who misses him so much. The best for me as his mom amidst all the lies that say I failed him somehow because I couldn't be what he needed me to be. The best for our family because we are still a family when we're hours apart from each other. The best for our family when next summer we'll have to figure out new patterns of how to live together and what to do when we have hard days, because we are still people. And so while I am hopeful and certain that this year will bring good things in all of our lives and it will make us more ready to be together in a year, I also know that we are still only human and things will still get hard sometimes. And there is that promise I want him to know - that we are a family who sticks together. Who fights together and not each other.
So he is far away this year. And I am missing so many days of memories with him. So many more when I already missed 6 years of days with him, but we will make up for it and they will be days of laughter and joy because we've walked through the hard days making good days all the sweeter.