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Archive for June, 2012

Rough Day

Hadley is getting better with drawing. I picked her up today and she had three pages of pictures. The first one was a monster in jail; I was standing beside him outside the bars. I thought she meant that I put the monster in jail, but she said I was keeping her safe and the police had put the monster there. There was a page that looked a little like a police chase; I guess the monster must have tried to make a break for it. Then I saw the third picture. She told me it was her dad. When I asked where we were, she said we were in the house. He wasn’t, because he had died. She had drawn what looked like clouds around him, which I thought was a pretty interesting way for a 4 year old to express the idea of heaven.

Since she hadn’t drawn anything like that before, I thought something might have bothered her today. She seemed fine, though, so we headed home. I asked if they were supposed to draw pictures of their dads today at school or did she just think it up? She said she just thought it up. But she didn’t seem upset, so again I thought I was worrying for nothing.

And then we got home. It all started just fine. I read a couple of stories while dinner was cooking, but I didn’t get to the third one she wanted. The tantrum started and kept going. And going. And going. And.Going. After awhile of the hysterics, she settled down enough to sit down for dinner. Then something else struck her the wrong way and off we went again. Time out, screaming, and finally sent to bed. And the crying kept going.

As she was getting ready for bed, screaming over and over that she didn’t want to go to time out EVER, it didn’t take a genius to realize that something most definitely did happen at school to upset her. When I asked her what happened, the dam broke. She said she wanted her dad to come back; she didn’t want to be the only one at school without a dad; she wanted her dad to come pick her up sometimes because everyone else’s dad sometimes came to get them; she wanted him to stay; he shouldn’t have gone; he shouldn’t have died. And again, I didn’t know what to say. I agree with her. It shouldn’t have happened. He shouldn’t have died. A kid shouldn’t have to grow up without their dad. And I can’t do anything to fix it or help her. All I can do is say the same things over and over: that she DOES have a dad even if he’s not here; that he’s always in her heart; that it’s okay to be angry and to cry about it.

I hate that I have to say any of that to her.

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