As happens too often in our lives, Daddy is very, very ill. His kidney transplant a month ago went very well and he was home five days after the surgery. From there, all of his old issues reared their ugly heads and, this time, new ones cropped up as well. He is in the Intensive Care Unit for the 3rd time in 3 weeks.
In the beginning, Gracie and Luke were doing okay with Daddy being in the hospital. They knew that he was "with the doctors" and that he would be home soon. As the days and weeks drag on, they are acutely aware of his absence and their sense of security has been shaken. We've had meltdowns and screaming matches, hitting, kicking, biting, bad-listening, and defiance. It hurts my head just to write about it.
Tonight, after a particularly bad episode, the following conversation took place:
Gracie: "I don't like you, Mommy! You are mean."
Me: "I'm sorry you feel that way. The good news is, I'll always love you, no matter what."
Gracie: "No, Mommy! I don't like you and I'm going to runaway!"
Me: "Oh! Well, no matter where you go, I would always find you." (Even though, I wanted to say, I want to run away too!).
Gracie: "NO, MOMMY! I'M GOING TO RUN AWAY!"
Me: "And I will always find you."
There was silence in the back seat and then, a few minutes later, she said, tearfully, "Mommy, I don't want to run away."
Me: "I'm glad, Gracie. I don't want you to run away either."
Gracie: "Mommy, I won't runaway like Daddy. Did Daddy runaway from us?"
I SO almost lost it.
Me: "No, Gracie, Daddy did not runaway. He is very sick and has to stay with the doctors, but when he gets better he will come home. I promise Gracie. Daddy will come home."
Gracie: "Okay, Mommy. Daddy is coming home soon."
And all was right with the world for 5 minutes.
Come home, Daddy. We miss you.