Both Sides Now

As I write this the Little One’s mom is off on a business trip. The Little One saw her mom and dad put on their coats. She ran toward them and said “Bye bye Mama. Bye bye Da Da.” Off she ran singing her own version of “Frozen.”

After the departure, I carried her up the stairs to her room. I laid her down softly into her crib. I patted her and closed the door to her room. There of course was the cry that isn’t really a cry. She takes all of five minutes to settle in with her menagerie of crib friends.

It was a morning filled with games and exercises at “My Gym.” I was able to wake her in time to get to class just as it started. She loves to be with the other children. She loves to show off what she can do. She shies from new tasks until she is ready.

We were home in time to spend an hour before her mom had to go to the plane. It was a great hour of play with the Little One. She had the full attention of her mom, dad, and myself. We were a band for awhile. We marched behind her as she led us around the living room several times. She sang the song from “Frozen” with her mom. She took her mom’s sun glasses and made her dad wear them. It was a family time filled with love and smiles.

I am listening to the conversation with her friends via the baby monitor. She will soon be asleep for a couple of hours. There are pauses in her chatter that are getting longer and longer.

Mama will be gone for five days. There is no way to tell her this or prepare her. She will ask where her mama is. We will answer by telling her specifically where she is. We will tell her mama will not be home until Saturday. This will get repeated many time.

I can’t help but wonder when will the time come that she understands what we are telling her? Are little ones shocked to understand what has been said? Do they lose a little bit of trust? Childhood is not easy. It is even harder for adults to watch a child develop.


2 thoughts on “Both Sides Now

  1. Wow, Mary. This is a super piece. From the poetic images of her ‘menagerie’ of ‘crib friends’, and the so soft image of the silences between chatter increasing, you capture the sweet crib years 🙂
    But the bigger theme is understanding and trust. I agree- there are so many things we “explain” (such as literally telling her where her mother is) but we know they are not understood. We do the best we can but we also know that trust is being shaken. And all we can do is our best. And watch them grow, even when it is painful. You got that right 🙂
    I think this is one of your strongest recent pieces.


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