Last week we were playing baby, and little M made a baby bed, pretended that she needed her diaper changed, and informed me that when she (the baby) cried, I (the mommy) would come to get her.
She did her fake cry, and I swooped in to pick her up. Then I would lay her back down so we could do it all over again…
Again, she did her fake cry, and I bent to pick her up, making all the appropriate cooing noises and concerned expressions… and then she wasn’t fake crying. My little M was sobbing. For real.
And my fake concerned expression turned into a real concerned expression.
I sat and held her, and she cried for a few minutes. I asked her why she was sad, and she replied that she didn’t know, she just was! After a couple minutes, she stopped, was happy, and said she wanted to play again. Um, okay… little M is an intense feeler, she even cries during cartoons if someone looks hurt.
I was a little shaken, but she seemed fine, and jumped down to play baby again.
This happened two more times! She would start fake crying, and then burst into sobs that left her breathless. I sat and held her, and prayed…
The third time, she looked up at me with sad, sad eyes…
“mommy, when I was a baby, I was in China.”
“yes, baby,” I said, with tears in my eyes.
“mommy, when I was a baby, I cried, and you didn’t come!” she said, with tears running down her little face. “Where were you?”
We both cried. I told her I was sorry, I told her I loved her more than anything, and I promised to always come when she needs me.
This definitely left me shaken. The depth of her feelings, and her intense grief were so raw, and I felt so helpless in the face of her sadness. We cuddled and talked for a long time about China, and family, and feelings. I told her I wished I could have been her mommy when she was a baby, and that I missed her, too. I told her that I knew God had a special plan for her, and that I was so glad she was in our family.
She told me that she has a family now, but some babies don’t. She said she is happy, and she has a mommy, and daddy…
Then, she hopped down, and ran off to color. But the outpouring of emotions seemed to be cathartic and even therapeutic… she was happy and affectionate, coming to me often for hugs and kisses, for the rest of the day.
We knew these questions would come, but we weren’t sure when. I am so thankful for my girl, and so grateful that she trusts me with these huge feelings. I know there will be many more, even harder, questions to come, and they will probably all leave me a bit shaken, right?
I just know that I love this little girl that our family has been so blessed with, and feel so privileged to parent her and walk through tough times with her, but I would definitely appreciate prayer for wisdom, and the words to say when my little girl has questions…