To read earlier entries about the tornado, click here
Jack really enjoys one on one time with Mommy and Daddy. He gets that every Friday while his sister is at school (I haven't worked Fridays since he was born) and some Fridays nights while she is at the YMCA.
This morning after we walked Makenna to school we settled into play one of his favourite games; "Willy's Restaurant".
I don't know where the name "Willy" came from. He has never been to Wicked Willy's in Goderich and doesn't even know it existed. And this is a game we played long before the tornado.
This game involves the toy kitchen, toy food and play money. I visit him at the kitchen (restaurant) with my money and he tells me what to buy and how much it will cost me.
This all takes place inside the toy room, so as we play I tidy up the rest of the toyroom.
Cause its always a mess.
Today, after I had made my first purchase, he told me to go home. I said that my home was right beside the restaurant (so that I could clean up the Little People that are right beside the toy kitchen).
This is the conversation that followed:
"I live right beside Willy's Restaurant"
"What happened to your old house?"
"...I don't know...what did happen to it?"
"It got broken".
"A bad Tunderstorm" (thunderstorm).
"...Oh, really? Well I am here now so I am okay"
"Yes, cause you are in a new house now"
"...Yeah...but even when the storm came WE were okay, because we were in the basement..."
"Ya, but I was really cared" (Scared)
"I know...but we were okay, we didn't get hurt".
"Yeah, but somebody got died"
"Yes, one person died"
"But the news said 2 people got died"
"No, the news was wrong, one person died".
""Who got died? What was their name?"
"My friend Rob?" (Referring to one of the firemen)
"No, no, not Rob, Rob is fine, you have seen him".
"But where does he live?'
"Rob lives in Goderich".
"is his house broken?"
"nope, his house is just fine".
"can I see the man who got died?"
"But why not?"
"Because we don't see people anymore after they die"
"But I don't think we should go outside anymore when it is a rainy day"
"Well...we just did. It was raining when we walked Makenna to school right? and we were okay"
"but I don't think we should go outside when it's tormy (stormy). It was really loud. I was cared (scared)".
"I know you were. it's okay to be scared. But we were okay."
"Because we were in the basement".
"Do you want some ice cream from Willy's Restaurant Mommy?"
"yes, yes I do".
Why am I sharing this here?
I scribbled it all down on paper right after, (while "eating" my ice cream) because i wanted to remember it.
And to, once again, give you a glimpse into what it's like.
I had no idea that was about to come out of his mouth. I had no idea it was in his head to begin with.
He is 3 1/2 years old.
It was 7 weeks ago.
But it has stuck with him. He remembers, and it has stuck with him.
I am constantly trying to process all of this myself, and was reminded this morning, that so are my children. And I have to help them through it. Even at the most random, unexpected moments, I have to remember to be present, available and able to talk them through their feelings. Tor really listen to what they are saying and realize what they may not be saying, or what they may be trying to say.
I don't know what has been going on his little head, or for how long. I have been given glimpses here and there and have made guesses here and there, but today, for the first time, my little boy pretty much laid it all out on the table for me and we had a real conversation about it. All because I sat down to play "Willy's Restaurant" with him. All because I said my house was beside the restaurant. Under any other circumstances, Jack and I never would have had that conversation.
The Social Worker in me wants to tout the benefits of play therapy, but i think it's pretty self explanatory isn't it?
Even at 3 years old, kids know.
They know, they remember and they think.
We have to remember that.
We have to always be listening.
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