She asked me if I was going to disappear and go to Africa. As I've blogged about recently, Maya is going through an awful lot of change right now.
This is obviously a confusing time for her. Transitions coming one by one are already tough for her and now it just seems like the change is being pitched on one of those automatic pitching machines like they have at batting cages (at least the batting cages on tv, because I wouldn't set foot in a batting cage if my life depended on it).
We're dealing with the end of the school year, the end of swimming lessons for the year, a break in the school routine and our au pair leaving which is the biggee.
When our former au pair left us a year ago it was hard too, although it seems harder now, maybe just because it is now and last year is a semi distant memory.
Also I think Maya bonded in a different way with this au pair than with our former one. Both were very warm, close relationships, both involved lots of games, fun, laughter, cuddles and fun. But this au pair is a girl and I think that has allowed an extra special bond to form. They do girly things together, they color, they dance, have dance parties, they sing and watch music videos, Maya watches her getting ready to go out and Maya especially loves it when her friends come over.
But mostly I think the big difference is that Maya's made a lot of progress socially over the last year, she understands much better what having a friend means, she interacts more and wants to play together more.
"She forms deeper and more meaningful attachments" to quote her school report card.
Isn't it ironic that something so great and wonderful in terms of development is also causes sorrow?
My answer to her question about whether I would disappear was tough, because I can see that while she understands the concept of someone going away for a few days or even a few weeks, she has never really been in the situation where someone meaningful to her has left and there is a chance she might not ever seen them again.
Maybe I am reading too much into it but her using the word disappear seems significant to me. Disappearing to me suggests something inexplicable, without reason, someone is here and they are gone. She doesn't understand the concept of that. Mommy and daddy go on trips for a few days, we go out for dinner, her aunt, uncle and cousins come and go from Israel. My family comes and goes. Sometimes it is days, weeks or months before we see them, but she has never described it as disappearing.
My poor girl.
I answered her the only way I could without the time to research the question on the Internet, shooting from the hip I said I told her that of course neither I nor her father would ever disappear, that we would be with her. I told her that I know it is sad because our au pair is leaving and we don't know when we will see her again, but that she is not disappearing, that she is going home to her own family in South Africa, that they miss her very much and she misses them. I told her that disappearing means someone goes away and you never hear anything from them again but that was not happening now. I told her I knew she was going to feel lonely but that her daddy and I would be here for her.
I think I am doing everything I can, we are trying to nurture her, we are talking to her about her behavior which is still difficult at school and especially on the school bus, but mostly we are trying to nurture her through it, spend lots of quality time with her and reassure her.
I know that once the summer vacation hits and we go on vacation she will be having such a great time and things will slowly start to come back together.
Three more weeks until vacation.