09.01.2012

Did You Really Just Eat Your Baby?

Dear Lucy,

You and Bella played together for hours tonight. It’s kind of cold, it had been raining, and we stayed inside since we got home from school. You both chose to ignore the boys (who were doing random things that you girls apparently wanted no part).

Which was fine by me. My parenting theory runs somewhere along the lines of: “Divide and conquer.” Two in one room means manageability. Two in a separate room not associating with aforementioned two – also manageable. Four together in one small room: lunacy.

You and Bella pitter pattered across the floor, running from my bedroom to your bedroom. Which in the camper we are currently living means that it’s about 10 feet apart. (Funny thing – none of you even think living in a camper with four kids is weird. Unlike just about everyone else who has made mention of the fact that all half dozen of us living in a camper can’t be fun. Well, it’s really not – but it is entertaining. When our house is finished being built we won’t even know what to do with all the space.)

It took me a while to catch on, but I realized you and Bella were playing some version of your make-believe games. I could hear Bella pretending to be the teacher and telling you what would and would not be allowed in her classroom. Though truthfully, it seemed like a whole lot more “would nots” than anything else. I didn’t even realize classrooms had so many rules.

But Lucy, you kept running back to my bed to check on something. So I moved from the couch to my bed, and read my book there, waiting for you to come clambering back to the bed to check on whatever you kept talking to back there.

When you came running to the bed, you promptly crawled over me, and focused all attention on the pillow. I watched the pillow, wondering if you had something secreted away inside — I honestly expected some sort of hidden candy or other treat.

But when you started petting the pillow and talking I knew you were playing “baby.”

“What’s your baby’s name?”

You gazed up at me with that look that all really great make-believe moms must have when questioned about their baby’s name.

“Vavin,” you said.
“Oh Gavin,” I repeated. We know a couple of Gavins so it seemed like a logical pick to me.
“No, Vavin,” you corrected. You overly emphasized the V, letting me know this was no ordinary baby.
“Vavin. Got it.”

You ran off, ready to play again with Bella, but not before some parting advice to me to not let anyone sit on your Vavin.

No problem. I honestly protected Vavin while you were gone. The boys came talk to me for a while, and I made sure no one sat on the pillow. When you came back, I assured you Vavin was safe, and you ran off, taking him/her (I never could figure out if Vavin was a girl or boy) with you. I got up, started fixing supper, and called all of you to the table.

“Where’s Vavin?” I asked. I honestly was thinking we could put him/her on the couch during dinner. Imaginary babies can cause spilled milk issues in our house and I wanted to make sure all the milk stayed in our cups tonight.

“I ate him.”

“You what?”
“I ate Vavin,” you said with a sneaky smile.
“You ate your baby?”

You ran away, not answering, but laughing. And you promptly scrambled up to the table with everyone else.

Lucy, what kind of two-year-old eats her imaginary baby? I’m thinking the same kind of kid who had a mom who was obsessed in college about Lamentations and the fact that there was a verse in there that spoke of women eating their babies. Not funny. At all. Totally weird. And your unfortunate inheritance of extreme inappropriateness.

But it did make me think of your other imaginary friend.

Jeffron. Or maybe Jeffrin. I’m sure if you were a little older and could correct my spelling, you would let me know exactly how to spell his name.

You talk about him almost daily. I’m not sure how long he’s been around. Probably two or three months. At least, that’s how long I’ve noticed you talking about him. One day, I finally started asking you for some details about him.

What does he look like?

“Black,” you said.

In my mind, I started picturing a Shaq-type guardian angel.
But you followed it up with the word “Hair.”

“So he has black hair?”
“Yes,” you shook your head. “And white skin. And black clothes.”

At this point, I started imagining a more emo, trendy little guardian angel punk. My feelings toward your angel started changing. I preferred the one of the massively sized Shaq-esque guardian angel. The skinny angel, with black hair, and black clothes wasn’t making my mother-side feel all warm and fuzzy.

It wasn’t until I lay in my bed tonight, trying unsuccessfully to fall asleep that I remembered the verse from Matthew 18:10.

“Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.”

angels

Oh Lucy, what a joy it must be for the angels who guard you by day and by night. I imagine the breadth of their wings spanning over you, protecting you, loving you. And when a new one comes on the job, the one who just left returns to heaven, where he gazes upon the Face of God. I’m not at all sure how guardian angels work. If you have one assigned to you, or a rotating crew. (I lean toward the rotating crew idea – it’s hard work watching over you kids!)

And I honestly think Jeffron is just a silly figment of your way overactive imagination.

But sometimes, I like to think he is some glimpse into an eternal world – one where angels wage war over you, fighting for your soul from heavenly dimensions.

Maybe one day I’ll meet him. I’ll probably ask him to add a little color to his wardrobe – I mean, really. All the glorious colors of heaven and he chooses black?

But for now, I rest assured that “your angels see the Face of God who is in heaven.”


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