Now that Sprout has been with us 2 1/2 years, his memory of what came before is fading. In many ways, this is a wonderful blessing. He’s starting to forget the bad, the dark, and the scary. For that, I’m so glad.
But then there is the other side of it. The side that combines with big feelings stirred up by the changes-nothing-but-changes-everything adoption.
And it brings him to moments when he says “I want to go live at my old house.”
It’s hard to hear things like that – and probably even harder to share them with you.
Especially since these statements don’t come in the heat of anger or out of a fit of rage. They come around a calm and happy dinner table, or when we are playing outside and find a dandelion to make a wish on.
I’ll be honest, the first time I heard him say that, it stung. Given his perpetual enthusiasm over the adoption and his very vocal demands that he stay with us forever, I was taken off guard. But, I put my bruised pride aside and asked him to tell me more.
And that’s how I came to find out that his memory was playing tricks on him. The good is becoming really good, and the bad a distant memory.
“I got to watch lots of TV and all the movies at my old house.”
“I ate lots of candy.”
“I could go anywhere I wanted. I didn’t need an adult always watching me.”
At first I wanted to remind him…sure all of those things are true – but you watched TV because you had no toys and all that candy left you with a mouth full of rotten teeth and that’s not even the half of it…
But no, I won’t be reminding him. I will tuck that pride in my pocket and tell him that I understand, because I do. I will tell him that its okay to miss his old house – that I’m glad he has special memories of his time there. And I will thank him for sharing his feelings with me.
And then, at night, I will say a silent prayer of thanks for this memory trick. For my sweet angel slowly leaving behind pieces of a burdened past and how wonderful it is that the bad is what’s being dropped first.
Its then that I will be reminded that I don’t need to feel threatened. Missing his old house doesn’t make him love his current one any less. He simply wants both as the years bring him more and more peace with his past. And peace has always been my wish for him.