Home Alone?


March 31, 2000

This is my On Display collaboration entry for March. The topic: security.

When you look at it there's security, or feeling secure. As a person, I think I'm pretty secure. I'm fairly comfortable with who I am.

As the product of a broken home, but then who isn't anymore, I think I have surprisingly few "security" issues as far as abandonment, and that sort of thing. Sure, I have issues with my parents but I don't think they rise out of a lack of security.

Frankly, as long as there's a decent balance in the old bank account, things are pretty good for me. I have a roof over my head, I have a job I'm not likely to lose in the near future, I love my husband and am secure in my relationship with him, I have good friends. Basically things are good. So, I had a hard time coming up with something to write about.

Well, then something happened that made me see things a little differently.

You see, about two weeks ago my sister in law (we'll call her Ginger) had a baby. It's her second child.

The day after my nephew arrived, Chuck, Zoe, and I toddled off to Cedars to see the latest addition to the family. I have mixed feelings with this whole infertility thing I'm dealing with, but I am happy for them.

Anyway, after a quick bite of dinner we went over to the hospital. I delivered Zoe at Cedars.

When we pulled into the secret parking structure we showed Zoe where Chuck had pulled the car up to load the car seat when we took her home. We walked through the halls with her and told her that this was the hospital she was born at. It was an almost surreal experience for me since the last time I was at Cedars was almost four years ago to the day, giving birth to my own daughter.

We made our way to the hospital room. Ginger and her husband (we'll call him Fred) were in this postage stamp-sized room, with the bassinet. In it was my nephew.

Suddenly Zoe got a troubled look on her face. She wasn't interested much in seeing her new cousin. When Chuck or I held him she was OK with it, but she was clearly unhappy.

Fred was fabulous and gave Zoe his undivided attention. They played while Chuck and I took turns holding the baby and chatting with Ginger.

Our visit was short and when we left the hospital room we took Zoe to the nursery to see the other babies.

She still looked unhappy but didn't seem to want to talk about it.

We dropped Chuck off at his truck and Zoe and I made our way over the hill and back to the house. It was already way past her bed time and I attributed her being out of sorts to being tired.

Well, then she asked me an interesting question. She wanted to know if I went to the hospital to "get" another baby would we leave her home alone? I told her of course not. She seemed a bit happier and moved on to other topics.

When we got home she asked the same question. I then realized what was going on. Zoe had never seen Fred and Ginger together without their older son (we'll call him Bud). Well, little Bud, who's just under two, was not at the hospital and everyone was making a fuss over the new baby. And while we asked after Bud, I knew that he was with Fred's parents, and we didn't spend a lot of time talking about him.

You would have seen the lightbulb light over my head had you been in the room with us. Zoe thought that Fred and Ginger had left little Bud at home all alone while they were at the hospital with the new baby.

I explained to her that Bud was with his grandma and grandpa and that if daddy and I ever went to the hospital that she would stay with her grandma, or her grandpa, or her aunt, but that we would never ever never ever leave her home alone.

A look of relief spread across her face immediately. Suddenly she was back to her old self and actually asked questions about the new baby.

The thing is, it never occurred to me to explain it to her earlier.

Chuck and I do everything possible to make sure that Zoe feels safe, loved, and secure. We tell her and show her in dozens of ways on a daily basis. She knows she's is an important and contributing member of our family. We care about how she thinks and feels.

The trouble is figuring out what a four year old is thinking.

Until next time...