Christmas 2015. Tensions were high. Cousin Kyleigh just would NOT smile. She was not impressed and not in the mood darn it! Katherine was devastated, because as you know, everyone just HAS to smile for their pictures. She kept looking back to the left, to us, to the left, to us. Her heart break was crushingly apparent as this went on. Is she smiling yet… Finally she let out a, “Kyleigh!” Nothing… So she give up, and gave a half smile herself. And then theres cousin Molly… Smiling… Desperately trying to ignore the tension and she just doesn’t understand why Katie could not let it go and Kyleigh would not just freaking smile! LOL! As such… The moms stepped in. A little lesson. To teach them just how silly they looked. They laughed with us, and finally, finally, Kyleigh smiled! I loved this night. I cry thinking about it. Nothing will replace this… Nothing can take these memories either.
David and I were crying last night in bed, again, and we both realized, sort of at the same time, that we never recorded her feelings. We never took videos of her opinions or feelings as it related to the photos we took of her, current events, her emotions. We took videos she wanted to take, but we never selfishly asked her to express herself for our own benefit and memories. We are so sad about this. How could we have missed that. Our advice to other families, either going through this, or supporting those that do, sit your children/teenagers down and bring up something, or show them something and ask them how they feel. Ask them what they think of things. Ask them to share a story, and why the story mattered. Don’t respond negatively to anything they say. Just know it’s them, and they are growing. You will cherish it later. Whether you agree with it or not. We will never get that back, so don’t let that opportunity pass. For Katie’s sake.
Loves and kisses Katie. See you next time.