Monday, 4 March 2013
Gangnam Style, Goodbyes and Grandad
This weekend we were at a disco party for a little boy that Mini has known all his life. The little boy - Signals - is emigrating to Canada in a few weeks. You see Signals' mum is the grown up daughter of Mini's foster carer. During foster carer's ill health, Signals' mum helped out with the care of Mini, and so the boys as babies spent lots of time together. (Mini's older by about 5/6months).
Mini, like most young children doesn't really understand the permanence of emigration. Nor has he much concept of how far away Canada is...he only knows it's further than Nanny's house. And there is no understanding of how much it costs to go to Canada, and how much we'll have to save up.
This lack of understanding made it easier for Mini to have a nice time. He stood close to me and the NC, very close most of the time. He danced 2 foot in front of me, and didn't brave the main dance area but he was disappointed not to win a sweet for best dancing. He only played Duck, Duck, Goose when daddy was sitting with him. He only played musical chairs when I ran around with him, and then cried when he lost his chair. But these are all positive because not so long ago, Mini would either sit on me and not talk to anyone or do anything, or wet himself before, during and after the event, or he'd run around in a totally dysregulated state, out of control. And we'd have a very hyper child to attempt to calm down afterwards, during which time we'd be rejected, violently.
So from our point of view it went well. However, as adults we do understand emigration. And we'll miss Signals, his mum and his dad who have been in our life as long as Mini has. They are, and will always be incredibly important to us, and are connected to Mini in a way I can't describe. We'll keep in touch of course, and a trip to Canada in the future might be on the cards.
The boys had a hug, a photo was taken, photos were left for Signals' memory book and Mini got to dance to Gangnam Style...twice.Then I drove away with slightly leaky eyes.
Mini's foster carer was obviously there too...it was her grandson's leaving party after all. It's been too long and we had much to catch up on, but it was neither the time, nor place, so we're looking forward to meeting again soon. But we were a little concerned about how Mini would cope seeing her. We've pulled back a lot and not seen as much of her as we'd initially hoped, but this was advised by CAMHS and Dave-the-therapist, fearing that seeing foster carer would frighten Mini and make him worry that he was going back to her. We talked about it in the car on the way, and talked about how Mini might feel. We explained that we were all coming home together. And this seemed to be enough.
As we were driving away, Mini did something incredible.
'Mummy, can we go to the crematorium, to see your dad?'. (I should add that my dad has a plant in memory, after being interred)
'Um, yes of course we can. It's very clever of you to know we're close by'.
'Oh no, I didn't. I was just thinking that it's been a while since we went, and we could go if you wanted to'.
This is from a child who continually denies that my dad ever existed. And not only that, when we realised that we had no flowers to take (being 5pm on a Sunday), Mini offered the flag out of his party cupcake, so 'Grandad-in-Heaven' could see it too.
It was almost as if he really did understand Signals leaving...perhaps he has a better grasp of leaving and goodbyes than we do?
It was an amazing day, very emotional. And I'm so proud of Mini for handling the party so brilliantly, and for being so thoughtful afterwards.