“Mommy, when are we getting a new house?” She asks as she snuggles against me in the old blue chair at bedtime.
“New house? We’re not. This is our house.”
“So big trucks aren’t going to come and take us away?”
“No. We live here. We’re not moving.”
“But my friend is,” she says with a frown. “He’s getting a new house, and new friends. He’s not going to be our friend anymore.”
“Well, he’ll still be your friend, but he’s moving far away. To Texas.”
“Yeah. And when I go to Big School, I’ll leave all my friends behind too. I’ll have new friends and I won’t see them anymore.”
“Well, not as much,” I say slowly. “But we can still get together for play dates. And you can see them at the park, and the pool, and all sorts of fun places.”
“But, my friend Siri, she’s at Big School now. And she doesn’t need us anymore.”
“That’s not true. I’m sure she misses you very much.”
“I miss her,” she says sadly.
“I know you do, baby. But it’s time to go to bed now.”
She climbs into bed and I tuck her pink blanket in tight around her, then kiss her goodnight.
“Mama?” she calls as I turn to leave.
“You’re not going to leave, are you?”
I fall back to my knees beside her, heart breaking just a little bit.
“No, sweetie. I’m not going to leave you. I’ll be right downstairs.”
‘You’re going to stay here? Forever and ever?”
“Forever and ever. I promise.”
Her body sags a little, and I realize she’d been worried what my answer would be.
“That’s good. I don’t want a new mommy.”
“Nope. I’m your mommy and I always will be. And I love you very, very much.”
With that she curls up and settles in for the night, heart seemingly at peace. But I know big feelings are still stirring in there.
Her world is small, but change looms large everywhere she looks. Families are moving. Her friends are growing older and moving on. Good byes are all too common.
It’s a lot for a little heart to take – especially one that feels as deeply as hers does.
But I can’t stop the changes. Can’t spare her the heart ache.
All I can do is love her, and keep letting her know that that love will always be there for her.
Hopefully, that will be enough.