Saturday, June 9, 2012

What to Do?

Thursday,  I was picking Sierra up from the baby-sitter's house.  My friend was picking her kids up too, one of which is a 2 month old baby girl who weighs almost exactly what Sierra did at two months (tiny!).  I have been wanting to hold her - I know can you believe it?!  So I did....she is so sweet.  She felt so tiny next to my huge baby boy!  It was nice to hold a baby  who didn't squirm, or make my back hurt!  If you could have seen Sierra's face light up.....a tiny baby girl.  I joked with her that we were going to swap babies for the night.

Later that evening, she was playing with a balloon and stopped to go to the bathroom.  I heard her talking (she NEVER stops) and heard her say something about Adelyn.  So I tried to listen carefully, but couldn't make it out, so I went in the bathroom with her.  I got her to say it again, at least I think.  I guess she wanted Adelyn to see her balloon, and then started asking a lot of questions.  First she asked if her friend (the one whose baby sister I was holding) had a baby boy up in the sky too?  This is the second time she has asked this about  her friend.  I wonder if she thinks that since she has a baby girl in the sky (as she says) and a baby boy at our house, that her friend must have a baby boy in the sky because she has a baby girl at home?  Her friend's mom told me that she had talked about Adelyn and asked why she didn't have a baby in the sky, and wanted one.  Kids are so naive.....

Anway, then Sierra asked why once you go up to the sky, you can't come back?  No one knows, you just can't, I answered.  Sierra said but I love my baby sister so much, then asked why we have a baby boy here but a baby girl in the sky (she has asked this a few times before).  I gave her my usual I don't know and told her that we can't pick what kind of baby we get, God decides and we get what we get.  This seemed to make sense to her.  Then she started asking about where Adelyn lived in the sky and if she could see the balloon.  Lots of questions....typical Sierra.  I wasn't sure at this point if I should be happy that she brought Adelyn up, or sad.  Then she said, "Mommy, I really miss Adelyn."  Me, too....

Wouldn't you know not too long after this, we saw a rainbow in the sky:

I really needed that, because I had been feeling sad and really missing Adelyn.  Seeing Sierra's face when she saw the little baby girl, and hearing her ask that about why we have a baby boy at home - it really made my heart hurt.  I think Sierra would have really loved having a baby sister.  I mean, she loves her brother....a LOT.  But what little girl doesn't dream of having a baby sister - it's like a live baby doll.

On to Friday, our neighbors' kids came in our basement with Sierra and she showed them the stepping stone we made last year.  Sierra proudly told her friend that this is Adelyn's and he said "Who's that?"  (Ouch).  So then Sierra said "that's my baby sister."  Good girl!  But then something I wasn't  prepared for happened.  The little boy, who is 5, said oh yeah, she died.  Sierra responded by saing no she didn't die, she lives up in the sky, she's an angel in heaven.  I don't remember what else was said because that was all I heard.  The boy's mom apologized and somehow changed the kids' topic of conversation.  Not that an apology was needed.....and now I am worried that she is going to tell him never to talk about Adelyn again, and that is NOT what I want.  Whether someone talks about her or not, I still think about her every day.

This is where I start to feel like a bad mom.  I don't think we ever really told  Sierra that Adelyn died because I didn't think she knew what that meant.  How can you explain death to a little kid?  She was only 2.5 when it happened.  Someone must have told her Adelyn was an angel, and it wasn't me because I don't think Adelyn is an angel.  I don't think you turn into an angel when you die, but I DO think she watches over us like an angel.  Sierra usually talks about Adelyn "living up in the sky" and I never really thought twice about it.  I like to think of people who die living up in heaven, too.  But I guess I understand the difference, whereas apparently she does not.

I have to admit I worry about what other kids will think when she talks about Adelyn and this just  made me worry more.  So I guess I do need to sit down and talk to her and tell her that Adelyn did die, that's the only way you can go to heaven and "live" up in the sky.  That is really not a conversation I want to have with my 4 year old......I guess I have been avoiding it for awhile.  At first, I just couldn't talk to her about it, it was too hard.  One of the hardest things ever.  And then somehow she started talking about Adelyn being in the sky and living there and it is a beautiful way of thinking of it.  I like it, so I left it at that.  And now I don't want to take some of her innocence away by telling her the truth.  I don't know what to do.  Maybe I will start by just asking her what she thinks happened to Adelyn.

Tonight the casino by our house lit off some amazing fireworks.  It is a beautiful night, so we sat outside and watched them with Sierra. This was our conversation:
Sierra:  "Who made those fireworks?" pause "Oh wait, I know, Adelyn made them."
Me: "Actually, people make fireworks, but I bet Adelyn can see them from Heaven."
Sierra: "Yeah because she lives in heaven.  I wonder what kind of house she lives in.  And I'm her sister, right?"
Me: "Yes, you are."
Sierra: "But we're not close because I live here and she lives all the way up there so we're not close." (OUCH)
Me: "Yep, that's right."
Sierra: "But we already have a baby boy at our house, so we don't need another baby here.  We have another baby up in the sky."
I don't remember what I said in response, what do you say to that?  A few minutes passed.
Sierra: "Do you think Adelyn's in bed now?"
Daddy: "No, I think she's watching the fireworks."
Sierra: "What color fireworks do you think she likes?  I bet she likes the purple ones."

I'm really loving how much Sierra has been bringing up Adelyn lately.  If I had to guess,  I would say it's because she saw her friend's sister, and she really wants a sister and misses the one she was supposed to have.  I just don't know how much of that she understood at 2.5 - that she was getting a sister?

Just when things start to feel somewhat "normal"......I realize that nope, it's not normal at all. Sigh.

I think all of us are missing her a lot tonight....


Melissa said...

We have similar conversations in our house with Lorelei (she's 4.5 now). We did tell her that Charlotte died though and tried to explain it the best we could. We do say she is an angel in heaven too. She's asked so many questions about Charlotte and death in general that I can't even remember them off of the top of my head. Yesterday we were talking about my husband's grandmother and how she died after his brother's wedding. Lorelei asked every question imaginable about her and death, how she died, even what her grandmother was wearing. I think it's best to just be as honest as you can and expect that we're going to have to explain over and over again.

When Alexa was a few months old Lorelei would say, "When this baby dies, we're going to get a another one!" And she sounded excited about it. It hurt, but really I think it's just because she doesn't truly understand what death is, and she just wants another baby. She's talked about wanting a little brother which is just funny to me.

Good luck, I hope talking with her isn't too painful. ((hugs))

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