Monday, October 14, 2013

An Innocent Wish

The other day, I was lucky enough to have a friend from out of town come to stay with us.  It was an absolutely beautiful fall day and we decided to hit the outdoor shopping mall. 

This particular mall has beautiful fountains and waterfalls everywhere.   It is by far Munchkin's favorite place to shop.  He loves to "balance and walk along the stair step waterfall fountain, jump through the mist that blows from the gigantic water fall, and touch the walls of water and reflecting pools. 

It is pure bliss for him, and pure bliss for me to watch his face and hear his laughter as he explores the water and feels the mist on his face. 

His other favorite pastime is to throw pennies for wishes.  For him, it isn't just any coin, but specifically a penny that he needs.  He was armed with pennies on that particular day.  

This particular fountain is his favorite.  It is about 3 feet high and the water runs down the sides.  

At this particular fountain he made a silent wish.  Silent wishes are either hilarious or heartbreaking depending on the day.   My breath caught in my chest as he threw his penny and didn't announce his wish. 

I asked him what his wish was and he told me that he couldn't tell me or it wouldn't come true. 


This is so tricky.  I racked my brain as to what he could have wished for.   There are so many things that are precious about childhood-holding on to and believing in you wishes is top of that list!

I told him I would guess-he told me not to.   In the past he has wished for a baby sister, a dog, a house, and with startling frequency God to send Daddy back from Heaven.   My heart sunk.  It sucks explaining that there are just some things that will never come true-no matter how earnest and innocent the wish is.

This is different from dashing the dreams of a child wanting a pet unicorn.  Those you can use reason and realism and feel okay about telling them that unicorns are not real.  

How do you explain to a six year old that Daddy can't ever come back from Heaven no matter how much we all would like him to?  We are religious.  I have to teach my child that God is compassionate and good even though he is the one who decided it was Time for Daddy to go to Heaven.  Yeah, try explaining that to a grownup.  Now try and explain that to a child. 

Yet, everyday, all over the world, there are widowed parents having this same discussion.  EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  We do it with grace and kindness, we do it because we have to.  Our children listen and understand as best they can. 

Here I was bracing myself for this conversation yet again...Muchkin excitedly takes my hand...

"Mommy, I wished that I do well on my spelling test!"

Whew! The breath I didn't realize I was holding escapes.