Hero Girl

June 7, 2012

We curled in a ball. Like we do every night. Unravelling her day. Her favourite thing was the library. Nothing beats the library. Except the cinnamon donut she got on the way home from the library.

Just as I turned out the light she said what she says every night. Mum, I’m going to dream about Superheros tonight.

She can’t decide if she’ll be a Knight or a Doctor or a Superhero. Tough career choices for a nearly four year old.

This much is true: she’s a rescuer.

Are you in trouble?

Do you have a problem?

I can help!

Most days she becomes Peso, the medic penguin from the Octonauts. Medical bag in hand, ready to treat the unsuspecting line up of  injured toys.

I worry about my hero girl. Much of her short life has been marked by an underlying sadness. A mother with a silent gaze. A mother pre-occupied with the screaming baby. A mother who spits fire like a dragon. A mother who makes excuses about not playing with her. A mother who indolently drags her way through each day.

I worry about the damage I’ve done.

I’ve explained it to her. I am sick. I’m not my usual self.  It may take awhile. I’m trying to get better, back to how I was before. And then I worry if she will even remember what before was.

I grieve her loss as much as I do mine.

This morning we started the day in our curled up ball. Winter dark with a hint of hazy light. Silence from the rest of the sleepers in the room. Me and my girl were warm in our embrace.

The apologies rolled into her ear. Sorry for yelling yesterday. Sorry for not being patient. I want to start the day fresh. I’ve been so sick. I am trying with all my might to get better.

I kissed her nose. Sweet delicate nose. She wrapped her tiny arms around me and whispered in my ear.

Get better for me.

The tears crashed down and splashed her hair.

Softly spoken words of grace landing so heavy in my heart.

And because this is real life and because she’s nearly four, I should have anticipated the next words from her mouth.

And remember Mum, I’m Peso. I’m a medic. I can make you better.