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Archive for January, 2012

Full disclosure: I am a thinker. Apparently I also passed that trait along to our daughter. Don’t get me wrong, being a thinker is, all in all, a good thing. The trouble with it, though, is that we thinkers often dwell on things long beyond the time we should. We make connections, we ride the train of thought, we float on the stream of consciousness and, before you know it, Shrek 3 is causing a breakdown.

We were getting ready to brush teeth, one of the last steps in the bedtime routine. As I was putting toothpaste on her brush, Hadley said, “Shrek 3 is sad. His dad died. And the other frogs were singing…” and then she started to cry. I think I’ve seen 3, but I didn’t pay much attention and so I have no idea what the frogs are. It only took a split second, though, for me to realize that she’d drawn a parallel between herself and Shrek and that she was remembering, all over again, that her dad had died, too.

I brought out all the reassurances I could come up with, sitting in our little bathroom with tears running down her┬átired face. She asked me why he had to die; why did he have to light the stick on fire (aka smoking); why didn’t he tell them no and run away when they told him to try it? She said she wished she could help him remember to say no and run away, because then he would have never put that stick in his mouth. I told her if she ever wanted to talk about him, I had all of the memories in my head and could tell her any stories she wanted to hear. I reminded her that we have lots of pictures and that’s why they’re all over the house, so we can always see him. And then I got her to bed by finding one of our engagement pictures and telling her she could keep it with her while she was sleeping.

So she fell asleep holding our picture tightly to her chest. I watched her for awhile and smiled when she moved our picture under the blanket, like she does with her other companions so they don’t get cold. My little thinker has been reassured for now.

Have I mentioned that this is hard?

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