Getting Ready for School

We took Jaden to his Jump Start at school.  We took all of his school supplies with him (so he doesn’t have to take them on the bus) and met his new teacher.  This year went a lot better than last year.  He could write his name and he finished his project with Mrs. R correctly.  Last year he just look blankly when he was asked to write his name and his project was all over the place.  I was a proud mama.

While Jaden was working on some stuff with his teacher, Doug and I were given two forms to fill out.  One was a list of people in Jaden’s family so when Jaden talks about them, she’ll know who they are.  So logically I wrote the following:

  • Mom – Melissa
  • Dad – Doug
  • Brothers – Logan & Weston
  • Yaya – Maternal Grandma
  • Pa – Maternal Grandpa
  • TiTi – Aunt Rachael
  • Jake – Uncle
  • Eric – Uncle
  • Sherri – Aunt
  • Grandma and Grandpa from Green Bay – Paternal Grandparents

Doug stopped me … “Ugh you’re forgetting someone.  What about Owen?”  Tears.  What about him?  How could I have forgotten to include him?  How could I, his mother, not put him on the list?  Of course he’s Jaden’s brother.  Of course he’s still a part of the family.

My biggest fear when this was all happening in the hospital was that we would look like a family of 5 to the outside world, but we are a family of 6.  Then I turned my nightmare into a reality.  I did it.  No one else.  The mother forgot her son.  The mother let her son disappear on paper as if he didn’t exist.  I’m disgusted.  I’m hurt and shocked that I did that.  I don’t know why.

After Jaden’s meeting with his teacher I parted ways with the boys and attended a parent meeting.  (I’m serving as the Staff Appreciation volunteer … yep I can’t say no to anything haha)  We went around the room and introduced ourselves.  My heart started to race … what am I going to say?  Do I come up with something clever?  Do I just say it like it is?  Do I avoid the topic?

Everyone has their happy first time mom intros … I have three kids, my son [blank] is my oldest and is in Mrs. [blank’s] morning class.  I’m sooo excited to be the [blank] volunteer.”  What am I supposed to say?  “Hi my name is Melissa, I have four boys.  One of them is dead.”  Then they all gasp and the entire mood of the room changes.  So what did I do?  I’ll tell ya .. “Hi, I’m Melissa.  My oldest son, Jaden, is going to be in Mrs. R’s AM class.  I also have triplet 9 month old boys at home.  So .. I have four boys.”

The principle just smiled really big at me.  She paused.  I nodded and she got it.  I wasn’t going to go there.  I let everyone believe the life I should have.  But I only have 2 babies at home.  It’s just not natural for me.  I want to be honest, but I don’t want those sad eyes.    I don’t want people to feel sorry for me.  I’m ok.  Probably better than I should be.  I just want to be able to feel comfortable in my own skin.  I feel comfortable with those that know my story.  My friends and family who know all about the last three months.  The ones that were all the funeral or sent cards.  Those are the people I feel comfortable around.  I feel like I have to be someone else when I’m with “strangers” or when I’m introducing myself.  I hate that.  I just want to feel accepted in my own skin.  I want to be able to wear my life on my sleeve without getting pity from everyone.

I’ll keep praying for comfort.  For the right words to find me when I need them.  Just wish I had them now.

Love, Mel


  1. Mel,
    You don’t know me but I’ve been reading your blog periodically ever since a friend of mine posted a link on Facebook. I’m a mother of mulitples too (two wonderful twin boys). I don’t know, and can only imagine, the pain you and your family are going through but I wanted to say just how inspirational your family is. You are raising some fine young men, who will be a source of good in the world. Owen has already been a source of such hope and healing at such a young age. We are lucky to have a family like yours in our world.
    With love from our family to yours,
    Katie, Darcy, Max and Sebastian

  2. Mel, I think everything u are feeling is normal. There was probably so much going on. Of course we all know u think of Owen everyday. Just becuase u forgot to put his name on the paper doesn’t mean anything less. I wish u could tell your story without someones eyes getting sad or the mood changing, but thats just impossible to do, because everyone who hears this story feels that way because it is so sad, it is so herat breaking. Especially for those of us who have our own children and can never imagine what u are really going through. We are always here for you and hear to listen. God bless you all!!!!!

  3. Way to go Jaden!
    Mel- I think you did what is now a new normal for your family. I don’t think you forgot about Owen, at least not intentionally. You said the right thing, you have 4 boys!

  4. I totally understand. I have 2 daughters and my son was stillborn in February. Due to complications, I cannot have anymore children. I always feel weird introducing myself to new people and not including my son and his story. Part of it is because I don’t want to be asked if I am having more or being told my family “needs a little boy.” Yet, I don’t want to scare off a potential new friend by bringing up my loss as soon as we meet. I usually end up telling new people after we’ve been talking for a while and I can gauge what their reaction will be. So far everyone has been really receptive and kind-except for one lady who said, “are you ok with what happened?” My response- “NO!”

  5. Mel, I tell people all the time that I have triplet girls. I leave out the part that one of them died 7 months ago when they were 23 months old. I just go along with the conversation about how hard it is, how expensive 3 weddings will be, etc, etc. The tears flow like crazy afterwards, but like you, I don’t always want the sad eyes and the “I’m sorry’s” I just want to be normal, although I know I never truly will be. My girls started preschool this week and they were constantly referred to as “twins” by all the teachers. I understand. They are identical so of course others will assume they are twins. I however can’t handle hearing that so I wrote their teacher, explained the story, and asked that they not be called twins. Just sisters. We do what we have to do to lessen the pain and get through each day.

  6. We are a family of five on the “outside” and a family of six on the “inside” too. It is so hard! It’s been almost 5 years since we lost Colin and it’s still awkward. The really neat thing now is that my boys tell people about their brother 🙂 makes my heart smile every time they talk about their brother who is an angel.

    Melinda- I had o write the same note to my boys’ preschool. They aren’t twins and never will be. They will always be triplets. In our house they are “the little boys” since they have a big brother.

    It does get a little easier to explain and you learn after a while who needs to know and who you just nod your head to. Hugs to both of you as you make your way through this journey!

  7. Tears! That was the perfect thing to say. I know we don’t know each other, but I’m keeping you in my prayers.

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