My middling cried tonight.
Next year the eldest goes to middle school. Different school times, different bus schedule. For some reason, this just occurred to my middling. She'll be riding the bus alone next year. It hurts in my chest to think that Henry would have been on the bus with her this fall, entering Kindergarten.
"Will I ever see her again?" she mumbled, big tears on her cheeks.
"Of course, honey, she'll just leave and get home a little earlier than you." This didn't console her much. My answers didn't seem to fit her questions, but a lot always goes on in her head that doesn't make it out of her mouth, and it took me a while to realize that she had moved on to worrying about adulthood.
"When she moves away, will I ever see her again?"
We talked about grown-up sisters, and how special Sister Smak is to me, and about aunts and uncles and cousins, and that seemed to help. I avoided the word "brother", maybe cowardly of me? It was certainly on my mind, and likely on hers as well.
I miss him so desperately. She feels his loss too, and I'm sad that she's scared of losing more. Then again, so am I.