Violet's class is split into two sections, and they have two teachers. So one half of the class is with teacher a, the other with teacher b, and at lunch time, they switch. One of Violet's friends is in the opposite group. Her daddy was killed in combat late last year. Why oh why didn't I connect the dots?! Fear has been driving my girl for weeks and I didn't see it. Didn't even look for it. Violet is so concerned and worried for this girl, which she has verbalized to me, but has been stuffing her fear that her daddy is going to die in Afghanistan.
What do you say to a 10 year old who fears for her father's life? I had no answer but to hold her and cry with her and tell her that I'm scared too. Because I am. Not a moment goes by where it isn't in my face that he's not here and that he's there. (Not that Afghanistan is a horrible, hellish place, I'm sure there is beauty, but right now, she has my husband and she might not give him back.) I certainly have not given this child nearly as much credit as she deserves, even though I desperately wish she would tell me how she's feeling before she turns into "Buttface Violet" and destroys her friendships and makes home life miserable.
After we had cried enough tears to fill a bucket, I asked her if she thought Daddy would want us to worry like this, to make ourselves miserable and sick like this. She sat for a minute, and decided no, he wouldn't. So I asked her what Daddy would want us to do instead, and she said, "to have fun and go to school." Excellent. Then came the big question that I'm still not sure that I should have asked, but my mouth wasn't paying attention to my brain: "Violet, if something did happen to Daddy, what do you think he would want us to do?" She sat for a long time, as I was thinking "Oh shiiiiiit, what did you DO, Kelly!!!???", and she said, "He would still want me to go to school and have fun, and not be sad, because he would be in Heaven with Jesus." Absolutely, kiddo. Absolutely. Maybe I'm not giving myself enough credit this time....maybe I am doing right by her after all.