Several days ago on the way home from school Quinn asked me when he was going to get a new daddy. I wasn't quite prepared for that question, so I stalled, trying to figure out what he meant. Turns out he wanted a new "sick daddy" because he wanted more Batman toys, and he associated our trips to Houston with the little Batman toys we would give him before leaving. I guess our attempt at being sweet when we traveled backfired on us a little bit. I'm pretty sure I did a lousy job trying to tell him that having a sick daddy wasn't a pre-requisite for getting new toys because he immediately moved on to another topic while I was still floundering.
Tomorrow Quinn turns four.
That makes today a day of many emotions for me. The last trip Emmett and I made alone, we made to Toys R Us so that we could pick out a present for Quinn. Emmett wanted to get him legos because he had been so excited for Quinn to be old enough to love legos as much as he had growing up. So we came back with several lego items. I didn't want Emmett's present to get lost in the birthday craziness, so I let Quinn open the presents from his daddy today. And I spent most of the morning helping Quinn build his legos, as he is still a little too young to figure them out alone. The rest of the day I kept thinking of all the things Quinn would miss out on doing with his dad, and all the things I would have to get excited about doing, like going cross-eyed trying to figure out where every tiny lego piece went.
Then shortly after leaving Quinn alone in bed tonight, I heard him bawling from the other room. I went in to see what was wrong, and he threw himself into my arms sobbing that he missed his daddy. So we cried and talked for a while. I told him about the books on the shelf that his daddy loved, about how his daddy loved hiking and camping, and about all the fun things his daddy had wanted to do with him. I told him about the journals and letters and trinkets that I had set aside for him to have when he was older. He asked me again about daddy's wedding ring and how I was going to keep it safe for him to wear when he was bigger. He suggested that I use one of the empty lego boxes because he wouldn't need it after the police van was built. That particular box was the obvious choice for safety because it was part of the police set, of course. But when I asked him to trust me to keep it safe, even if I put it in a different box, he sweetly said without hesitation, "I trust you, mommy."
We spent that half hour alternately sobbing and laughing, moving between emotions with impressive speed. And when I finally left him again, he was peaceful. Quinn's grief is sweet and tender. His logic makes me laugh and reminds me of what my logic must look like to God. His trust is complete, without reservation, and yet fear causes him to have all sorts of questions. I see my heart reflected in him every day, even when he is pitching a fit. And though my words are more subtle and my actions more reserved, ultimately there is not much difference in our hearts. Quinn helps me put things in perspective, and for that I am deeply thankful tonight.