Everyone thinks their child is brilliant. My daughter really is. She has an extensive vocabulary and her ability to reason often astounds me.
I was braiding Cydney’s hair last night. She kept looking around at things in the room and asking what was hers and what belonged to me. As I finished she pointed to these Russian figurines-the kind in which you can open up one and a smaller version is inside of it-and asked if those were mine. I said “Yes. Nunu gave them to me.” Nunu is what Cydney used to call my grandmother who passed away about six months ago.
I asked “Do you remember who Nunu is?” Cydney replied “Yes. She died because she was sick. Did they put purple rocks in her skin?” I quipped “I’m not sure.”
“She’s in heaven, now” my little girl then said. We talked about this for a moment. I was curious to see how this was going to turn out. I told Cydney “She’s in heaven, like your mommy.” Cydney then asked me where is heaven. I told her that heaven is in the sky.
“My mommy is on the moon?” Taken aback I said “Sure.” The look on Cydney’s face changed as she told me “I want to visit the moon and see my mom. I want to take a plane and go see her soon.”
“You have to stay here and take care of me. Your mommy is watching over you from the moon. While I take care of you, you take care of me.” That was the best explanation I could think of without blatantly saying that she won’t see her mother for a very long time.
“No! I want to go to the moon to see my mommy. I miss her” Cydney said. I asked “You don’t want to stay here with me, Cydney?”
“No. My mommy died because she was sick and now she’s in heaven. Heaven is on the moon.” Cydney repeated heaven is on the moon as if she was taking this abstract concept and accepting it as logic.
The look on Cydney’s face had changed from when the conversation started. She began to look sad. She really is figuring this not having a mother thing out. I know she loves me to death; but there is something noticeably missing in her life and she is well aware of it.
Clearly this is something Cydney thinks about. When I came home from work last week my mother told me that out of nowhere Cydney told her and a friend “Timile’s my mommy. My mommy died. I want a new mommy.” During our conversation last night she said this to me again. There’s nothing I can say or do about it.
This is a hard pill to swallow. As a parent you want to be able to do something when your child is hurting. Her behavior has changed because of this. I’ve been told that she won’t say good morning in school to her teachers and sometimes refuses to call them by their name. She’ll give a little attitude and say something that’s humorous but I have to be a dad and reprimand her.
My mother explained to Cydney’s teacher that neither one of them can really comprehend what my daughter is going through. I spoke with her teacher at the beginning of the summer when I first noticed Cyd’s regression. I’d told her that she has women in her life, but she knows they’re not her mother. I referred to a friend of mine Cydney has attached herself to, but she’s been really busy. All in all, everyone is doing the best they can.
Until she figures some things out she now has an extra special reason to look at the moon.