LUCI: I pooped on the potty today and Mommy was SO excited! She clapped her hands and yelled, “YAY LUCI!!!” I was really excited! It made me feel so happy! Then I had to flush my poop. I said, “Goodbye poop! I will miss you so much!” I miss a lot of things when they go away. I miss people, too! I miss Ellie, Easah, and Evan when they go to school. I miss Daddy when he goes to work. I miss Grandma and Grandpa when they go to the beach. Sometimes, when I go to the store with Mommy, I miss my house and my dog. I say, “It’s so good to be home,” when we come back. If Mommy goes potty and closes the door, I miss her. I just miss everything and everyone SO much!

MOMMY: I mean….seriously? Is this normal? Is she ok? I worry so much about Luci’s emotional and mental state. I don’t EVER make a big deal about “goodbyes.” When Ellie and Easah leave for the weekend, it’s “See ya Sunday! Have fun! Love you!” I don’t even give them a big send-off for school each day. Most days, I’m not even out of bed before they leave. I listen. I know the sounds of each one closing/slamming the door every morning. I know the difference between their steps on the stairs. I know when someone is having a bad morning because they can’t find something, so they frantically stomp up and down the stairs. I know when I hear Ellie, coming up to check on Easah (as she does every morning,) whether she is wearing her Converse All-Stars or boots because they sound different on the steps. I know when Evan comes up to take a shower, because he “walks heavy.” I know when Easah is running behind because she lets the front door slam as she runs for the bus. Anyway, I’m aware and I am listening, but I feel that they are old enough to get themselves around. I have guilt sometimes that I don’t at least say goodbye. But, again…goodbye’s aren’t my thing. Maybe I will regret that someday. But, for now…that’s how it goes around here. It’s “see ya later!” SO…why is little Luci having so much trouble with “missing” things and people? I know that her Daddy’s work schedule has been very different for all of us. She constantly tells me that she misses him. Is it a cue to something bigger and deeper for her, or is it just what she says? We saw her Uncle Nick and Aunt Kirby over the weekend, and the very next day she said, ” I willy miss Nick and Kirby!” She regularly comments on a picture we have of her Great-Grandma Carnes hanging in our kitchen and says, ” I willy miss her!” I mean, she “misses” her poop that she flushed!! Should I be concerned? I don’t know. It’s possible that she just “feels” things more than I do. Maybe she’s more sensitive and emotional. Maybe I won’t be able to relate to her AT ALL when she’s a teen/young adult?? Maybe I didn’t grow up knowing enough about loss.  Cats came and went. Dogs lived and died.  Maybe I have a “pet mentality” when it comes to people too. Maybe I take it for granted that people will always be around; or, when they finally do pass away, I will be able to handle it the same way as I have of the loss of a pet. No. That can’t be the case, because I desperately miss my Grandma and Grandpa. I miss family. I miss friends. I miss “the way it was!” I miss traditions and holidays and meals and moments.

WAIT!!! Maybe it’s ROUTINE THAT SHE MISSES!!!! YES! She has no concept of time. She doesn’t know if the girls or her Daddy will be gone for a few hours or days. THIS. This, I can relate to! As an adult, you get to the point where you realize the difference between the routine of seeing certain people versus missing the actual people you are or are not seeing!  So, she definitely really misses the people in her life, but at her age…she is really just missing the routine of seeing them. For her, it’s easy. For adults, it gets a little harder. Sometimes you have to step back and evaluate the people in your life. Are they there because you want them or need them? Or are they there because you are used to the routine of them being there?

“One question: are you here ’cause you need someone, or ’cause you need me?… Forget it, I don’t care.” -Lloyd Dobler (John Cusack) “Say Anything”

(sigh……..) It’s a lot. It’s big. It’s little. It’s confusing. It’s worrisome. It’s normal.

It’s normal.

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