At least once a day Lily asks me, “You still have that cut on ya butt?”
Yes, I do. And that’s not my butt. It’s my belly.
At some point, I believe we confused her about the lower anatomy. When she refers to her “body,” for example, she could be talking about her entire body but oftentimes she’s referring to her private areas. She calls her vagina her “bagina” on a good day or her “front booty” when she’s being more casual. Or sometimes it’s just all referred to as the booty. Apparently I haven’t been very clear.
I bring this up to say that Lily is very sensitive to the scar where her sister came out. She knows that cuts hurt and she knows that I’ve been sad so this is a physical representation of my pain and she wants to know how I’m doing. She’s learning quickly how to help.
I was hesitant at first to discuss too many details with her, not sure what she could comprehend and not wanting to overwhelm her. But children are extremely resilient and that’s a good thing because I need resilient right now. She is literally the number one reason I’m able to keep it together, but I was afraid to let her know that at first. My therapist suggested otherwise.
We were talking about my discomfort in allowing people to do anything to help, because to me there’s really nothing that can be done to bring my baby back and if I can’t have that then I don’t want anything. I’ve almost been offended at people’s offers, wondering what they think they could possibly do.
I was reminded, though, that Lily, on the other hand, most certainly can do something: be herself, exist, live and breath in the flesh.
Those first few days home, all I wanted to do was hold her as much as she’d let me, hug and kiss her all day. The power she has to help both David and I get through this is inexplicable. And perhaps she should know that.
So every time Lily asks about my cut now, or says something about her baby sister which requires an explanation that her baby sister is no longer here, she reminds me proudly, “But you’ve still got Lily!”
Yes, I do, sweet baby. And that makes me so, so happy.