The first couple of days after Caterpillar's goodbye were harder than I anticipated. Now I feel much more balanced and like myself, though I'm still a little on edge. I've been having really vivid dreams, though I'm not sure if that has to do with the good-bye. I feel emotionally exhausted even when I sleep. I just finished a photo book to go with Caterpillar and a photo book to stay with us (the former is more about him and his milestones, the latter has more of our family with him). Those were exhausting, too, though I'm really happy with them and looking forward to flipping through them with Dinosaur and Rhinoceros.
I feel like when we're just a family of four I should soak up all the sweetness of Dinosaur and Rhinoceros. But we're all going through a transition, and we're not always so sweet to each other. I soak it up one moment, but then I turn around and snap at them.
Back-to-back, my foster mom friend and my mom called to see how I was doing one afternoon this week. It was totally worth not accomplishing what I planned to accomplish during those phone calls. I needed them. I spent almost four hours at my church's mom's group, pouring out our hearts. I needed that, too.
I don't like feeling so needy. I wish I had more to give. But I need to refresh and renew so I can give again.
I will say that there is so much I am thankful for during this break. We'll go back on the list for placements in September. I am thankful for a few weeks without carrying around a diaper bag! Rhinoceros is finally potty trained, so there's no one in the house in diapers. I am thankful for easier outings with kids: shorter shopping trips and much lower stress trips to the beach. I am thankful for our upcoming anniversary and two dates this month. I am thankful for the week-long camping trip we're taking at the end of the month, just four of us. I am thankful I already got to see Caterpillar briefly (I forgot to pack an important bag with his medication - whoops), and that I have vague plans to see Pterodactyl soon.
It will be a good month, despite our tender hearts grieving a loss. Rhinoceros is asking about Caterpillar more than he did with the other foster kids. Dinosaur spotted a baby at church today and went right for him, asking eagerly, "Can I kiss him?" He kissed Caterpillar like 40 times a day. I know he misses him. Even B, on the day Caterpillar moved, checked in with me and mentioned how this time it was a bit more emotional for him than for the others. He just had more of a connection with Caterpillar even though he's not a baby person. We weren't blindsided at all by this move, and we don't oppose it in the least, but it is still its own unique wound in the heart of our family.
I had the same photographer friend who did Beetle's photos do a photo shoot of Caterpillar before he moved, so you get another pair of baby feet to enjoy.