Thursday October 10, 2013

It's Erin's half birthday today.  This struck me today when 10/10 came up on the calendar.  I found myself thinking about those years when every six months was a milestone.  One of my favorite Erin stories took place around one of those "half birthdays".  Erin was being precocious and I commented to her - "You are one of a kind, Erin."  She looked me straight in the eye and said, "No I'm not, I'm two and a half."

Yesterday after I spoke to the IBM employees, many people came up to me and shared with me some connection they have to our story.  Shannon's tentacles still reach many people, and Dan and I always love to hear from people about how they knew our daughter or, knew of our daughter through some connection.  It's sort of a "Six Degrees of Shannon" thing.

The most special connection yesterday, though, was a lady who had been Erin's student teacher in third grade.  She had been following the story and she told me, "All along the way, I've been thinking about Erin.  How is she doing?"

It's easy to get caught up in our Shannon events.  They've become such a part of who we are and what we do.  The calendar turns over and we begin again with walks and hockey tournaments and fundraising.  Sometimes I do have to stop and think, "What must Erin be feeling about all this?"  It's a part of who we are, and it's become our new normal (yet again). 

I do my best to be there for Erin and to let it be about Erin whenever possible.  I try not to wear any of my Shannon shirts when I'm going to one of Erin's games.  (This is becoming more difficult as the percentage of my wardrobe occupied by Shannon shirts continues to increase.)

This is the age old parenting dilemma with a whole new twist.  Don't we all strive to treat our children equally?  Play no favorites?  How can I possible succeed at this?  Shannon will never make another mistake or disappoint me or roll her eyes at me again.  Let's just say, Erin is in a really tough spot.

So, I find myself thinking about Erin.  I love her to pieces.  I hope she can feel that.