Sorry, I'm a day behind...
Yesterday didn't start off so great. :-( Lexi was in a great mood before school, very excited about me coming for lunch! When I dropped her and her friend off, she jumped out of the car and yelled, "Bye Mom, I love you!" So I drove off thinking all was well.
Not so much. Only 5 minutes later I get a call from our neighbor, who's in 5th grade, telling me that Lexi was crying and saying she didn't want to go to school. So I asked to speak with her and she kept telling me how much she missed Hailey and needed me to come and pick her up. It took all the strength I could possibly muster to not turn that car right around, peel into the parking lot, jump out, grab her in my arms and whisk away to the safety of her home. But I knew that I just couldn't. She needed to go to school. If I went and brought her home today, after doing that on Friday, it would be all over. I'd never get her back to school again.
I kept trying to rationalize with her, as if that actually works with a 6 year old! I told her how much I loved her and how she needed to go to school. I reminded her that I was going to bring her McDonald's for lunch and eat with her, but if she continued this I wouldn't be able to come. Nope...nothing worked.
So then I started to panic. I mean, seriously, what was I supposed to do? It was 8:10 now (school started at 8:00), I'm already home, and she's still out in the courtyard crying. She also refused to give the phone back to our neighbor boy.
Finally, I told her that I loved her very much but I was going to have to hang up on her because they needed to get to class. I told her again, really nicely, that I loved her with all my heart, held my breath and hung up the phone. It literally KILLED me to do that. My heart broke into a million pieces and fell to my feet.
As soon as I hung up I called the school office and told them that Lexi was in the courtyard crying and how she lost her sister, etc. The office staff was so nice and said they would go out and get her.
I called back several minutes later and they told me she was in with the school psychologist. They said she was calming down, but she was initially really upset that I was supposed to have lunch with her and now I wasn't coming. Great...just call me Mother Of The Year! My 6 year old daughter is at school crying because she misses her sister who died and is now thinking I'm not coming for lunch and I go and hang up on her. Nice. There goes that awesome macaroni frame she probably made me for Mother's Day! I sat down on my couch not knowing what to do, so I called my mom. I swear, no matter how old you are you always need your mom! If anyone knows my pain in watching Lexi grieve, it's my mom because she doing the same thing with me as her daughter. We talked for a little bit and then the school called back.
My heart was racing as I answered the phone. It was the school psychologist. She was absolutely AMAZING! She told me that Lexi was feeling better and in class. One thing she said that really touched me was that she had never lost a child, so she wouldn't even pretend to know what that's like. However, she has 4 children of her own and therefore, knows how much a mother loves her children. So she promised me she would treat Lexi as one of her own.
I guess they sat and talked for a bit and she offered to have lunch with Lexi that afternoon. She said she had a Lego game in her car so they were going to play that and eat together. I filled her in on everything going on with Lexi and also decided to drop off McDonald's and an "I Love You" note so she knew I wasn't upset with her. She also had me bring a book of pictures of Lexi and Hailey that I made for Lexi at Christmas so she could have Lexi tell her all about Hailey. I was so comforted at how understanding and compassionate she was.
After lunch the school psychologist called me back and let me know that Lexi was feeling much better and that she offered to walk her to class today and Friday morning and eat lunch with her again both of those days. She won't be there on Thursday, but that's Lexi's early day, so I think she'll be fine.
I'm now trying to take this just one day at a time. I tend to live in the future and forget about the "now," so that's something I'm working on. If I can't somehow master the whole "taking one day at a time" thing, I'm seriously going to end up with a nervous breakdown!
Anyways, Lexi still went to her friend's house swimming after school. Imagine that, she can't be away from me when at school, but at a friend's house it's perfectly okay!!! That's where the difficult part of my job as a mother comes in...trying to determine when her behavior is motivated by her sincere grief and when she's trying to pull a fast one on me! So I've resorted to a lot of prayer and just hope that I'll be guided when necessary.
Well today was amazing! She went to school happily, actually ended up walking to her class with her friend and not the psychologist, and came home saying she had the best day ever! Go figure! One day at a time, Wendy. One day at a time!
So I'll keep you all updated! Thank you again for being so compassionate and supportive. I love my little Lexi more than words could ever describe and I will do ANYTHING (as long as it's the right thing) to make her happy!!! We've started having Mommy/Daughter Day every Wednesday after school and also every night after Ava is in bed, from 7:00-7:30 is just Mommy/Lexi time. Although I'm well aware that it's going to take quite a while for her to be truly happy after all she's been through, I'm still doing my best one day and sometimes one minute at a time.