As many of you may have seen, I recently changed my facebook profile photo to a very young and very smiley Connor.
Connor did not smile in the traditional sense very often. So when it happened in front of you, it felt like the clouds had parted and sunshine was streaming all over your heart. He didn't have a lot of really dramatic facial expressions, so this one was always so huge in intent it just made life amazing. As he grew, it became harder to make him smile. The guaranteed smile-inducer was to bounce him, big time, on a bed or sofa. If you went on long enough, he's also laugh, another thing that rarely happened. As he grew, it became really hard to safely bounce him.
I miss that little chuckle.
One thing I've found out recently from his brothers, though, is that in their minds, he was always smiling. I showed them the photo, and they said, "Yeah, Mom, of course he was smiling," as though it was a daily occurrence and I was crazytown.
I am not crazytown. But I love that in their minds, this was his norm.
Then yesterday, I received a card from the parents of one of his former classmates (and her mom), and it was so touching. I opened the card, and written in childish handwriting at the bottom of the card was this: We remember Connor! Love from (name redacted) (but it was his classmate). Her mother had traced out the letters and his former classmate had written them herself. This student LOOOOOOOOOOVED Connor. I mean, the showers of love he got daily from her made the notes in his book most days. When she moved up to another school, we wondered how they would both do as they were in effect besties. I miss seeing her smiling face, and remember being in class with him and her constant and devoted attention to him. I think she would have done everything for him - fed him, given him something to drink, helped him with his school work.
I am thrilled to see that she's learning some writing, even if it's still with support. We can do a lot with support. Look at me, remaining a functioning human being thanks to the support from all y'all, even in this horrible month of February.
So I'll wrap this up with another smile from Mr. Personality. See how alight his face is! THIS is what I remember and miss the most...those brief seconds when we connected in joy.