I was reading this charming post entitled "Out of the Blue," and had to laugh at the title. The mom describes an "out of the blue" discussion about adoption with her daughter (thanks to Tonggu Momma for including it in her weekly "Sunday Linkage" post -- she always shares thought-provoking and/or charming and/or beautifully written posts).
I laughed because I had JUST used that expression to describe a recent issue raised by Maya. We were driving in the car (it's always in the car?!) and she says apropos of nothing, "I wish I had a daddy." She tells me, in response to my "why?", that a daddy could give her piggy-back rides. Ooooookay.
It wasn't until a few hours later that I started to think maybe this conversational gambit wasn't so "out of the blue" after all. We were driving my mom to the doctor for a minor outpatient procedure (which turned out great, no worries!) -- she would be under anesthesia and wasn't allowed to drive after, which is why I was driving her.
The last time my kids were heavily into the "I want a daddy" thing was when I had brain surgery. They were worried then about who would take care of them if anything happened to me. I occurred to me that this latest "I want a daddy" episode was related -- a second-degrees of separation from what if something happened to Mama -- what if something happened to Mimi?
Sure enough, when I talked to Maya about it later, she was worried about Mimi, and like all center-of-the-universe kids, worried about what would happen to her if something happened to Mimi AND me. I told her that as the mom it was my job to take care of her, and that part of that was making plans for other people to care for her if I can't. Then we went through the long detailed list of people who would take care of her -- "If Mama can't, then Mimi & GP will, and if Mimi & Grandpa can't, then A will, and if A can't, then B will, and if B can't, then C will, and if C can't, then D will . . . ." She felt much better about it after that, but I'm sure it will arise again. I guess the biggest side-effect of the brain surgery is that both girls feel insecure about my dying, and being a single parent adds to that insecurity it seems.
So, that "I want a daddy for piggy-back rides" conversation wasn't about piggy-back rides, and wasn't really about wanting a daddy, either, I think. And the conversation CERTAINLY wasn't out of the blue! We might not know exactly what triggers one of these "out of the blue" conversations, but they are only "out of the blue" to us! Our kids have a reason for why that conversation has to be had, and has to be had now.
P.S. I don't mean to minimize Maya's daddy-need -- I know it is genuine. It's just usually on the back burner until something brings it to the forefront, like Mimi's procedure did. I'm going to be posting more about the whole single adoption/single parenting thing in the weeks to come.