Yesterday, I was shocked by the news of the day. I spent the next 24 hours “feeling” my feelings. I’d be calm, then cry, then sad, then shocked some more, then irate.As I was packing the girls room up, while Bella was at preschool (so she wouldn’t notice that it was being packed up), I packed while she was at school so she would have no idea things were going into boxes rather than into drawers and closets. While I was rushing to do this before she got home, I couldn’t place why I kept getting angry and falling to pieces. Surely, cleaning their room wasn’t anything to cry about.I just couldn’t place what was making this time, the third time in 17 months that my husband had gotten the news of a lay off, so much worse.Then ,I figured it out. This time was different because this time one of the people that I love more than anything else in life, my 4 year old, Bella was old enough for this to actually affect her. I have been reassured that children are resilient .In my mind, I know this. I know that when she is a teenager, she will have no recollection of this entire situation. She won’t be scarred for life, need therapy, or even care but that doesn’t help me ..now.See, this has happened before.The first time, she was pretty unaffected. She was 3, she was oblivious. But the second time, I was so distraught myself that I forgot to filter my actions and words and she knew exactly what was going on. Bad, bad Mommy. I felt horrible about the whole thing.No 4 year old should be aware of finances and the family economic situation, let alone be afraid of going without..anything. When we had to relocate, she was sad and full of trepidation at the thought of leaving “her” best friends, “her” ballet class, “her” swing set, “her” bedroom, “her” toys,”her ” house etc. etc. It was all very overwhelming to her and it was all my fault. If I would have kept “MY” mouth shut, she would have been unphased. It’s kinda like when your kid falls, if you don’t gasp and run to their rescue..its as if they never even fell. They usually don’t even cry. They are tough, they are resilient. We, however, are not apparently. So, last time we had to uproot, I kicked and screamed all the way ( metaphorically, of course) and she did it literally. Good example Mommy. Worse, above all else, was the fact that she was so afraid of the whole experience. I did that. This time, I promised myself that I would hold my tongue and she would not see me cry. She would be blissfully unaware. Her and her sister will not know that Daddy got laid off and we are scared to death in this economy. No, this time I will smile and just tell her that we are going home to be closer to our old friends and family. This time, I will be an adult and spare my child the fear and uncertainty that she does not need to experience at the ripe old age of 4. This time I will be the adult and protect her from this awful thing called life. She has the rest of her life to find out that life is not perfect and we don’t always get what we want and sometimes we have to struggle. But today, she is four and today, there is Santa, the Tooth fairy, and the Easter Bunny. Daddy is the strongest man in the world and Mommy is the most beautiful woman and we both are perfect..in her eyes.Life is perfect.Today, I will guard her innocence with my life. She is my baby and she has the rest of her life to be disappointed, but for today I refuse to let her be anything but happy. Today, I will be your Mommy and your umbrella from all of life’s rain. I love you Bella and Gabs! You are my sunshine!!
Today, there is Santa, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy
by Deborah Cruz
written by Deborah Cruz
Latina. Girl mom of 2. Married to my college sweetheart.Digital Storyteller. Lover of travel, food and fashion. Chicago girl. I write because it's how I process the world. I share because I want you to know that you're not alone.