People leave. It’s a fact of life. They move away, or die, or get new jobs. Whatever the reason, people we care about fade out of our lives—and there’s not much we can do about it.
It’s a lesson everyone has to learn. But not at age two.
Nevertheless, my Tori’s learning it now. See, she has a favorite teacher at daycare. A woman she loves to the bottom of her little heart. In fact, she’s been known to call me Mimi (her teacher’s name), breaking my heart ever so slowly (but that’s another story).
Last week, Mimi quit. She’s gone. And Tori doesn’t understand why.
All she knows is that her Mimi isn’t there in the morning. She’s not there to read her books, and fix her hair, and rub her back as she’s going down for her nap. No matter where Tori looks, she’s just not there.
She’s been asking for her. All week. In the morning when we get to school, she looks up and says “Mimi here?” And I have to shake my head no.
Last night, I could tell she was trying to make sense of it. “Mimi h-house?” she asked. “Yes, honey. Mimi’s at her house.”
“No, Mimi doesn’t live here.”
“No Mimi?” She asked sadly.
“No Mimi,” I said and hugged her tight.
Then last night she woke up crying, calling for Mimi. That hurts on a number of different levels (I’d rather she call for me, after all), but mostly I just feel sad for her.
Her little heart is breaking, and I can’t explain to her why. I can’t tell her that Mimi cared about her, but had to move on. She just thinks she’s been abandoned.
And that? Sucks.
I had hoped we’d at least get to her teenage years before her heart needed patching.