Mom, Ethan and Ribby (our Golden Retriever)
Ethan: (flops onto Ribby with a loud sigh) "Where has my childhood gone?"
Mom: (startled, turns to Ethan) "What? What do you mean?"
[Bedtime ritual ensues, teeth are brushed and covers are tucked in.]
Mom: "Ethan, what did you mean by "Where has my childhood gone?' Where did you hear something like that?"
Ethan: "Nowhere. I came up with it in my head."
Mom: "Well, what do you mean by that?"
Ethan: "What's the point of growing up? It [life] just gets harder and harder, then I have to leave [home]."
Mom: "That's not true. You don't ever have to leave, not ever."
I must have missed that chapter in the parenting books! What the hell do I do with that? There's so much that went unsaid between us. Those rich, milk chocolaty eyes just staring into mine, searching me.
I went to bed angry last night and awoke in a foul mood this morning. I'm pissed that cancer is part of Maddy's and Ethan's vernacular. I'm pissed that I can't protect them from this. I'm pissed that at the ripe old ages of 10 and nearly eight, they know Mom and Dad can't make it all better.
We go through the motions of trying to keep things "normal" and cancer free at home, but it's always there. It was there when the big kids and I started decorating for Christmas while Dad was at the hospital with Meg. It's there when a friend is picking them up from school. It's there when someone brings us a meal. It's there in our absences, too.