Friday, January 30, 2009

Bittersweet Goodbyes

This morning, Jer left for training. He's still in the US, but due to the nature of the training we won't be in contact with him for the rather significant time period he's gone. We sat down last night to talk to Connor about his daddy leaving.

The conversation went something like this (all of Connor's answers are signed):

Me: Connor, tomorrow Daddy has to go on a trip for work. We're going to get up very early and take him to work, and he won't be coming back for many, many days.
Jer: Connor, I won't be able to talk to you on the phone while I'm gone, but I will miss you very, very much and I will be thinking about you.
Connor: No.
Me: I know you don't want Daddy to leave, but he has to go. It's okay to be sad about Daddy leaving. Are you sad?
Connor: Yes. (He leans against my chest.)
Me: I will miss your Daddy very much too, but he will be coming back. We can talk about him every day and mark off the days on the calender until he is home. Do you want to do that?
Connor: Yes.
Jer: Can I have a love butt? (These are Connor's substitutes for hugs and kisses, which would involve way too much Connor-initiated touching for his comfort level. Basically, he gives you a very gentle head butt.)
Connor: Yes. (gives his Daddy a love butt)
Me: Do you want your daddy to give you a hug and a kiss?
Connor: Yes.

Now, it's pretty hard to tell whether or not Connor is actually understanding what we are saying or if he's just answering yes or no randomly to what sounds like a question. This morning, at around 3:45, we woke up, put everything in the car, and dropped Jer off at the office. Connor was too groggy to really respond to anything. We drove back home, cat-napped until about 8:45, and then woke up, ate a quick breakfast, and drove to our Deaf and HoH play group.

At the end of playgroup, we always sing the "Bye-bye"song. It's the kind of children's music that toddlers absolutely adore. It would make Sergei Prokofiev slam his head against a wall. The song has these fantastic, thought-provoking lyrics:

Bye bye (insert child's name here)
Bye bye (insert child's name here)
Bye bye (insert child's name here)
It's time to say bye bye!

Anyway, when Connor's turn came around, he listened carefully to everyone singing his name, and then signed:

"No. Bye bye Daddy."

Guess he was paying attention after all.


~Jess


3 comments:

Carrie said...

Oh, I'm so sorry that he's gone. Connor may not get it yet until he realizes he misses his dad. When he gets to that point, maybe you can give him a little 4x6 photo album of pictures that he can look through?

Julia said...

Man, what a sweet tear-jerker. (reaching for kleenex) I'm sure this will be hard on all of you. What an amazing child you have.

maurylorraine said...

Awwww. That's the saddest, cutest story evarrr. :[ :[

 
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