We have three children, two who live with us and one in the Summerlands. Brighteyes will turn six soon. She was in such a hurry to get here she was born on the side of the road, and she hasn't slowed down yet. She's a bright, bossy, outgoing Type "A". She's reading at the fourth grade level, and a book is the only thing that will keep her still and quiet for any length of time.
Sunshine is four years old. She is much more timid and reserved than Brighteyes; and she is the reason our DVD diet is currently restricted to the tamest nature documentaries, a few classic Disney videos, and Miyazaki's mildest movies. What she lacks in assertiveness she makes up for in stubbornness though. She's frustrated with being a little sister. Every now and again we catch glimpses that she may be even smarter and more creative than Brighteyes when she feels confident enough to open up.
Our son is our firstborn. After a "textbook-perfect" pregnancy (my OB/GYN's words) he was born with a heart defect. While in NICU he picked up a hospital infection and fought for three weeks before he died. The staff physicians tried to first persuade and then bully us into pulling the plug every time they saw us. They didn't want to have to write "iatrogenic infection" on the death certificate. Afterwords we couldn't find a lawyer who would sue them because of "tort reform".
At our son's funeral, we invited his spirit to come visit us whenever he wished. Sometimes when I turn the corner I catch a glimpse out of the corner of my eye of a little boy playing with my old dog, who died not long afterwards. I'm normally a very reasonable person, but there are times when reason is inappropriate.
Our son taught us that some children only come to visit. That knowledge makes us appreciate even more the ones who come to stay.