A little over a week ago I wrote about how Cydney is grieving the loss of her mother. Somehow I was hoping that it wouldn’t happen, but it was inevitable. I hate to use the term “acting out,” so I’ll say that she is expressing a brand new feeling that she doesn’t know how to articulate: heartbreak.
This isn’t Cydney’s first venture into being heartbroken. I had a friend that she got really close to. Life happened and people grow apart. We did. My friend and I met up one last time and it was pretty awkward. No eye contact and it was as if we both knew this interaction was the “exit interview.” As they were getting ready to leave, Cydney thought she was going with them. She cried and cried in a way I hadn’t heard before. It was crushing for all parties. They even sent me a text message saying “that was heartbreaking.” It was.
Cydney still remembers this person. From time to time she asks about them and says they were her friend she doesn’t see anymore. That was a year ago.
Recently it seems as if Cyd is putting the pieces of the puzzle together. She talks about Timile a lot more. Last Saturday night she looked at an old balloon that was in the living room and said “We sent a balloon to the sky so Timile could catch it in heaven.” Here it is, mid-July and she’s remembering February 14th, synthesizing information, and drawing her own conclusion with literally no discussion about it in five months.
Cydney wants a mom. Children especially toddlers-are intuitive geniuses with nothing to hold them back. I believe everything my three year old says in moments where thoughts come out of the blue. Out of nowhere she said “Timile wants you to be _____’s boyfriend.” I just looked at her and said “Oh really?” She nodded and gave a “mmhmm” in lament.
The next day, I was talking with my mother about taking Cydney to the beach. While playing to the stereotype that black people can’t swim, I mentioned “I guess I have to find someone to teach you to swim.” She responded “I can swim. Timile taught me how to swim.” I said to her “No, Timile didn’t teach you how to swim.” She paused and said “_____ is gonna teach me how to swim.”
After a pause Cydney then blurted “_____ is my mom.” My mother responded “No, she’s not your mom.”
“She’s going to be my mom” Cydney vocalized with all of the confidence in the world; yet the timbre of her of her voice suggested casualty. Cydney is truly a chip off the old block. The juxtaposed expression of her innermost thoughts and feelings with a relaxed demeanor is so off putting one can’t help but pay attention.
After a short pause, “I don’t have a mom” was Cydney’s next statement. It was as if she was rectifying who Timile is, who she wants a certain person to be, and realizing where she currently stands. She didn’t pout at all or show any indications of sadness; but i felt for my little girl.
With much more experience in handling children, my mother quickly changed the subject. That quick, she was over it.
Later that afternoon, Cydney came running into the den where I was watching TV with her toy smartphone and letting me more that _____ was on it and they needed to speak to me. I was told that I am buying the three of us cokes. Right after, Cydney wanted the phone back so that they could finish their discussion.
I told said person that Cydney needs her right about now. They’ve made sure to call and speak to her. Cydney gets too excited when she sees the phone ringing and knows who it is. Aware of how cell phones work, Cydney puts the cell phone on speaker so that she can look at their picture as she speaks. This is her way of having face to face contact. She’ll do things on the phone and ask “Did you see that?” The other day she had Disney Princess bingo cards that she was clapping together. After she did this, she placed the cards next to the phone as if they were in her right and left hand and asked if she was doing it too. They played along and Cydney couldn’t have been happier.
Maybe Cydney sees something that I don’t. I’m an adult who is more than jaded by life and the ways of the world. However, she isn’t. I won’t read too much into it, but I am paying attention. For right now, my little girl is a little happier than she was before. That’s all that matters.
One last thing…last night while playing with some toys Cydney uttered “Timile, my mom died because she was sick and I want a mom.” I told her “Well, I’ll find you a stepmom.” She didn’t hear a word I said and went right back to her toys.