(This was originally posted on my very first blog in May of 2007 (that I can't link to)...but I have more to add now. So I'll start you off here....)
How do I convince my daughter of that when I am living proof that indeed some moms leave?
Schnuggling before a nap recently, she asked me if I loved my Mommy and Daddy. (Red flags raised..she never mentions my Mom even when I talk about her) Of course, I said yes. She continued to ask, "Who's your Daddy?" (She knows full well the answer to this since we play this game often enough) "Papa" I answered with a smile. Then, she asked a question that I knew was coming but it still totally threw me for a loop.
"Who's your Mommy?"
"Well, my Mommy is 'Bunny'." I replied stiffly, waiting for her next question that was inevitably coming.
"Where is Bunny? My grandma?"
Here we go....
In my head I'm screaming, "I'm not ready for this" repeatedly...over an over. "She's only 3 years and 5 months old! 41 months! How has this concept entered her head so soon? How do I answer her?" "She may not be too young to ask the questions but she is too young to comprehend the answers..."
I began to tell her that Bunny, her grandma, my Mommy is in Heaven. (A concept I'm not too sure of myself...but I was thrown and caught off guard.)
She asked me if I missed her and again, if I loved her and was I sad that she was not here?
How the hell does she do this?
I told her I do miss my Mommy terribly because she isn't here with me and I love her and I wish she was still here with us. I told her I was sad because she never got to meet her and I just know she would love her... the conversation went on for a few more minutes before Fa told me "Not to worry because I'll make you feel better!" She said it to me. To my face. 3.5 years old. She even punctuated it with strong, neck-hugs! I am floored!
Then, she wouldn't let me leave her. She screamed bloody murder like I died a thousand deaths right in front of her, "Papa, Bunny, Mamma...Don't leave me!" "I'm scared you'll leave me!" "Mamma come back, don't leave me alone!"
Sheer shattered chest muscle.
You're not breathing, JJ. Breathe.
As I sat there rocking her close to my chest trying my damndest not to smother her with my kisses and trying even harder to convince her that I would never leave her and I will be her mommy forever...I felt guilty.
What if I do leave her?
What if I make her a motherless daughter?
I'm lying to her face.
How will she forgive me for telling her moms don't leave? When they do.
She is too young to be worried about this. She is too smart to not figure it out. She is too sensitive to forget this conversation any time soon.
I am sad that I have left her a legacy of loss and fear of being left alone by mother.
How could I do this to her?
How do I help her understand?
How do I rest her fears?
...Assure her that I am here for her...until she is older and better able to understand...that moms may leave this earth, but they can never be taken from your heart.