The conversation tonight at dinner:
Emma: Mommy, do grown-ups ever cry?
(I immediately knew where this was going... conversations that start this way always end the same.)
Mommy: Of course they do, Ems.
Emma: Even you?
(She's asking these questions with a slight smirk on her face, and looking at me out of the corner of her eye. Because she's planned out this whole conversation ahead of time.)
Mommy: Yes... haven't you seen me cry before, Emma?
Emma: Yes... but what makes you cry?
Mommy: Well, sometimes I cry when I'm happy...
(I know that's not the answer she wants.)
Emma: But what makes you cry when you're sad?
Mommy: Hmmm... let me think... ummm... (she knows... she knows. Should I let her say it or should I just go ahead and take this where she wants it to go?) When you guys are sad sometimes I cry. Let's see... what else...
(the babyish, lingering voice she uses gives her away.)
Mommy: Yes. Sometimes thinking about Joshua makes me cry.
Emma: Why? Because he died?
Mommy: Mmm-hmmm. Do you remember when he died?
Emma: Yes. And I remember we went to his spot and let balloons go up to heaven for him. But I don't remember what I was wearing and do you think I can buy a Webkinz with my birthday money?
Webkinz. Right. And with that, the conversation was over.
And I don't remember what she was wearing either.
Sometimes I have to remind myself that Emma was not even four yet when baby Joshua died, and her memories and reactions will always be different than mine. But it's still hard, because Joshua merits more than a 2-minute conversation for me. It's not easy for me to talk about the day we laid him to rest one second and Webkinz the next.
I often wonder how much Emma really remembers and how much she thinks about Joshua, but I'm afraid to bring it up. For now, I'll just keep letting her take the lead.
And yes, I'll let her buy a Webkinz with her birthday money. In case you were wondering. :)