The holidays have passed and Sophie just hit the milestone of 19 months! It is so amazing to look back and see pictures from today verses a year ago. I am so grateful for each passing day and think of how many adventures we have had in such a short amount of time. It seems as if she has always been a part of me because I can’t even remember hardly the days before I had her. Even on the craziest days I still look at her while she is sleeping and I still have tears that I catch running down my cheek because I am just so thankful to have someone in my life that has taught me what true love is all about. To some that may sound cheesy or maybe even a thoughtless rambling to start off a conversation but there is meaning behind these tears.
My biggest fear has always been the day that she asks about her Dad or a dad or her situation and why it is different. I know these days everyone has a unique situation but that doesn’t make it any easier as a parent. I always imagined it being while she was in Kindergarten figuring out about how other kids have a Dad and she then realizes that something is missing and comes home asking why I have a dad and she has a Grandpa but why doesn’t she have a daddy like everyone else. Now before anyone starts judging you should know that it is a blessing to not have her Dad in the picture because he doesn’t want to be and I do not believe in forcing parenting upon anyone and forcing them to be a parent and resenting the situation and the child. Then I would have another issue at hand of explaining why she isn’t wanted or feels wanted by her Dad; Either way there is no winning but I want her to always feel wanted and loved.
Here I am waiting and worried about Kindergarten when the moment happened while she is 19 months old. I am writing this while it is completely fresh per it happened just recently and I am still hurting from the pain of the innocent words out of her mouth. I have noticed that over the holidays she was letting the Daddy word slip out while referring to my Dad and we would have to remind her it was “Papa” and she would be fine and we would pretend nothing happened and go on. However, nobody really pretended anything, we just all kept it to ourselves. It hurt to hear her call him that because I know she was hearing it and understanding it from being at daycare (aka baby-school). I finally broke down to my mom and she said not to worry about it because she was just trying to use her words. I knew she was just saying that to make me feel better but I pretended it worked. I haven’t heard anything out of her since, regarding the “Daddy” word lately so I thought maybe it was a fluke for the time being.
Recently we had a playdate with a friend of mine and her little one. I was excited to go and have a playdate because it had been so long and we were to exchange gifts with the kids. They are close in age so it is always very cute to see them play when we get together. I am always concerned if men are around and wasn’t sure if her husband was going to be around because I never know how Sophie will react. Normally she screams and if they have a beard it’s over because she will scream out of complete fear. However, none of the kind was there so we were having a great time. Then it happened… Her husband came through the door and the little one yelled Daddy!! Then Sophie turned towards him and just started gleaming with bright eyes and was talking her jibberish and laughing at any attention he gave her. I was calling her name but she didn’t hear me and was following him as he went down the hall saying “pease , pease?”. I wasn’t sure why she was saying please, so I had her come back down to me and she just looked confused and asked in the sweetest voice, “ Daddy Pease”. I said, honey I am Mommy (Trying to change the subject). She said “no no, Daddy Pease, Pease Daddy.” Then she grabbed a book and started heading down the hall and I went to get her and said “ Its ok I will read the book”, She then turned and looked and said “ Daddy no book?” “Daddy Pease, Pease?” I then became sick and had a lump so hard in my throat I couldn’t swallow or speak and just held her and walked her into the living room. My friend was in tears because she knew I was holding back and could only imagine what I was thinking. I had tears roll down my face but I was holding so many tears back I could feel a massive migraine coming and I couldn’t see for the flooding of tears being held in my eyes. I sat her down and finally swallowed where I could talk and she kept pointing at my eyes saying “eyes, eyes mommy”. I said yes, these are my eyes and where are yours? And she pointed to her eyes and then she pointed to her nose and I asked where her belly was and we tickled it and got her laughing. I finally said, “Let mommy read you the book ok?” and she said “K, tank ooo”. I read her the book as best as I could without choking and thinking anymore about it but in my mind I felt like a failure. My friend and I talked briefly about it just enough to put it out there but no details because I think we would have just cried until we were sick. The innocence of any child I think could bring anyone to tears.
As we left all I could think about was that one thing and the whole situation playing out in my head. I know every parent has their own battles with their children and their own pain but when you are going through your own pain you don’t really see anything else but your own. Right now I just tell myself that I am grateful for what we do have and that I am doing the best I know how. As we came home I just loved on her and made dinner and wanted to hold her as much as I could but she was just so tired so I laid her down and she was out pretty quick. I came in the living room and just cried because I had too. I had so much I had held in I just bawled. I looked for a movie to take my mind off of everything, even tried watching a scary movie and then I noticed something. Both movies had the same similar plot. One was a television movie where the mom was protecting her daughter from becoming victimized in college and the other was a horror film that ended in knowing that the mom had victimized herself to prevent suffering of her daughter. You may be trying to figure out what I am getting to and it is just this….We all have battles and have choices on how we handle them. How do we know what is right? We don’t.
My mom used to always tell me anytime I was punished or when I was hurting that she could feel it and I would understand when I became a parent. I never knew what she meant until I became a parent, and the older your child gets it does not get easier, it only gets harder because they can tell you what they want and what hurts.
After I finished crying I went in to Sophie’s room and she was sleeping so peacefully, I put my hand in her hand and just prayed for peace, love, and guidance. I prayed that when she wake and these words came out of her mouth again that I would know the right answer but that I wouldn’t resort to lying even though she is so young. I went back into the living room and started going through my phone when I heard a whimper of her waking up. I am sure she heard me from being in there but I was just happy to see her awake and hug her since I had been crying all evening. She looked at me half awake and said “mommy”, I said yes baby, you have a bad dream? She didn’t say anything just laid her head on my shoulders so I knew she was sleepy. I laid her back down and she stood up and said “Daddy, Daddy, no no no?” I said Baby, I’m mommy but your Daddy is up there and his name is Jesus, as I pointed to the ceiling. I said “Sophie’s Daddy is in a place called Heaven and he watches over you and Mommy and protects us and makes us happy (as I tickled her belly)”. She giggled and pointed up and said “Daddy” and I said yes and I am mommy and I love you so very much. I know it was a lot for her to take in but it was not a lie and it was the answer I had prayed for. She laid down and as I was about to walk out I said “Night Night Love you” and she stood up and said “Mommy, wuv ooo, K (K comes after everything these days). I just looked at her and then gave her a kiss on the cheek and said “love you so much night night.”
Where an adventure comes a battle may follow. We don’t always know the right answers but there is someone who does. Being a mom has taught me to be humble in a lot of ways and to rely on God when times get tough. Too many times people give advice based on instinct or their own experiences and thoughts. That is great in some cases, but in this case my advice is to let you know that you are not alone in any situation and call upon God to help you.
9” Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)