Five year old eyes, wet with tears peered up into my face. “B-but why, Mommy?” The solemnity and earnestness on her face made me wish that I could delay this explanation, but I knew I couldn’t. As an only child, my daughter was quite precocious and spent more time with adults, than children her own age.
She had just learned that her aunt was getting a divorce and was heartbroken at the thought of losing her beloved uncle.
I took a deep breath and racked my brain for the simplest and gentlest words I could find. “Sweety, sometimes adults get married and find out later on that they just can’t be with each other. If two people are very unhappy together and they just can’t work out their problems, sometimes one of them has to go away.”
“For how long, Mommy? When can Uncle Benny come back? In two nights?” She sniffed and wiped at her eyes with the back of her chubby hand.
I reached out and pulled my daughter’s tiny body against me. “No, Honey-Girl. He won’t be coming back. Maybe we will see him on a visit sometimes, by himself, but he and Auntie June won’t ever be together again.”
A fresh storm burst hit full force. “Mommy! It just isn’t fair! I love Auntie June and Uncle Benny! I want it to be the same as always! Who will give me horsey rides, when I go to their house? And who will make Auntie June do her funny laugh? I want both of them, together!”
Suddenly, her little frame stiffened and she drew back. “Is it my fault? Did I make them mad, Mommy?”
“No! Don’t ever think that. You haven’t done anything wrong. Auntie June and Uncle Benny had grownup problems that have absolutely nothing to do with you. They both love you and think you are a very special girl.”
She visibly relaxed at my reassurance, but still looked troubled.
“Mommy? Can I make it better?” Hopefully, she smiled through her tears, salty drops glistening on her cheeks.
“Baby, sometimes nobody but God can fix some things.”
“Can I pray for them, Mommy? I’ll pray every night, before I go to sleep. I’ll pray extra hard. I know he won’t leave, if I do!”
“Sweetie-pie, you can pray, that’s a good thing to do, but I don’t want you to be disappointed, if Uncle Benny still leaves.”
A frown creased her young brow. “But why? Why would he still leave, even if I pray? You always say that God can do anything! He must be big enough to keep Uncle Benny here.”
I sighed, praying inwardly for wisdom. “Honey, God IS big enough. But, the thing is, even though God offers to help us, he lets us choose. If we don’t choose to let Him help us, then He won’t force us. Remember this morning? You were trying to tie your shoes and you couldn’t get the bow right? But, when I offered to help you, you didn’t want me to. You wanted to do it all by yourself.”
A smile tugged at the corner of her mouth. “But Mommy, in the end, I did ask you to show me how again and I was able to tie them!”
I affectionately tousled her curly hair with my hand. “That’s right, Sweetie. You sure did.”
“Mommy? I think I should tell Uncle Benny my story. Maybe it will help him.”
I opened my mouth to reply, but thought better of it.
“You know what? I think I have a very smart girl.”
********************This story is completely fictional. I wrote it as a writing exercise, while eating some very yummy Christmas pizza. I hope you enjoyed it! Merry Christmas to you all!************************