In Five Years She Will Be Sixteen

I snuggled down beside by husband in bed three nights ago warm and safe chatting quietly with him about our plans for the next few years. The conversation bounced between business plans and plans for our personal life and especially my Emma. My plans for her schooling over the next few months, summer plans that she has, the homeschool co-op we would like her to join once we get moved back toward Austin and more. Then it happened…that comment was made…and my life will never be the same again.

“In 5 years…she’ll be 16 before that happens…oh my…she will be 16 in 5 years.”

My Mom heart shattered. My eyes filled with tears and the husband who had been so warm and safe next to me just a few moments earlier suddenly felt completely and utterly helpless.

In 5 Years She Will Be 16 - Have you ever had your heart broken as a mother? Mine shattered three nights ago...

I wish I could help,” he quietly whispered as I laid there quietly sniffling, trying like mad to get myself back under control before I spiraled into a blubbering mess of broken tears over what the next 5, 6 and 7 years will bring.

In 2 years she’ll be 13. 

It isn’t like I didn’t know this was coming. I don’t think there are any parents on Earth who think it won’t. We bring our babies into the world knowing that someday they will spread their wings, attempt to fly, fail and eventually take off towards the skies on their own without our help. Knowing something will happen and watching it happen are two totally different things though.

In 4 years she’ll be 15.

You see, I was never done having children after her. She was less than 12 hours old when I was asked if I wanted more. “One more…at least” was the response to that question asked to a naive 22 year old girl who had grown up an only child, but didn’t want her children to have to do the same. And life went on.

In 6 years she’ll be 17.

It was just 16 months later when I found myself pregnant again. This time with a baby that I had no idea how I was going to care for. It wasn’t to be though and at 15 weeks, he grew his wings earlier than anyone expected on a Thursday morning filled with both physical and mental pain and an ambulance trip to the ER when the pain was so strong that my legs would no longer hold my body upright. There were no answers. There were no reasons. All that was left was the shrugging of shoulders, IV’s full of pain medicine, a D&C and “you can try again. I hate those four words.

In 7 years she’ll be 18.

My Rainbow Baby never came. I waited.  They tried. 5 miscarriages across 10 years. 3 chemical pregnancies in 2015 alone. Cramps and tears and days spent in bed listening to nothing but the sound of my heart breaking again. Over and over again. They just couldn’t get a strong enough foothold. It isn’t fair. My body just isn’t strong enough. I gave up. There are still no answers. There is still nothing but shrugged shoulders. There is still nothing more than the sound of a breaking heart as a Mother realizes that the once tiny little girl who who has her whole heart will leave her soon.

In 5 years she’ll be 16.

So what is a Mom with a broken heart to do?

In 5 years she’ll be 16. 

Smile through her broken heart. Smile through the tears. Let that tiny baby girl, the one who saved her Mom without ever knowing that she did. The one who is such a beautiful person both inside and out. Spread her wings so that someday she too can experience the same bittersweet moment in time.

In 5 years she’ll be 16.

And in the end? When all else fails her? She will do as she has done so many times before. Fake it till she makes it and keep her close, so very close to the heart that breaks more with each passing year.

In 5 years…she’ll be 16. 

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Stacy Barr
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Stacy Barr

Stacy Barr is the face and brain behind the frugal living and lifestyle blog Six Dollar Family . By the age of 30, she had overcome an alcohol addiction, a drug addiction, divorce, survived domestic violence and had built a life for herself and her daughter after spending 10 months in a homeless shelter. Her book, also called Six Dollar Family, has sold more than 7,000 copies since its release.

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