For a child who is as dependant on adults as Dominic is, helping him reclaim an element of control is never a bad thing. How else is he going to develop a sense of his own self-worth if he is never reminded that, even though he is ever so small, he doesn’t have to just
When my beautiful Lilia was three years old, and already wise beyond her years, she and Elliot travelled on the train to London with her Granny and Opa to come and say goodbye to her baby brother who was not expected to make it through another night. I stood in the toilet cubicle with her outside intensive care and, as it had been my only opportunity to talk to her by myself, we discussed what it meant to be dead, what forever meant and why it was important to say a proper good bye to her little brother. Of course Lilia, wiser than us all, didn’t see her little brother on the table. She saw a small swollen body, connected to countless tubes and machines that pinged and beeped and made a small chest rise and fall awkwardly. She saw no need to say good bye to the body that did not look like her brother, sound like her brother or smell like her brother. She found it difficult to even contemplate that her beautiful, doe-eyed Dominic was somehow trapped inside this swollen, battered body that was giving up the fight. I wonder if she looked at me with the same curious large eyes wondering where her mother was too, as I may have looked, sounded and smelt right, but I wasn’t the one calmly talking about the finality of death and the importance of saying goodbye, I was trapped inside in my own way, just like Dominic. My body going through the motions whilst inside a growing black hole raged threatening to lift my last finger off the ledge.
Home is where the heart is, or so the general consensus seems to be. In many ways I feel like I have come home now, everything has regained some kind of order, the cobwebs no longer have the larger share of the house and there has been a lot of culling of clothes and toys.
I’ve never had to go into a child’s room at night to reassure them that there isn’t a monster in the cupboard, it’s just something that hasn’t ever occurred to any of my children. Not to say that they don’t have their fears, of course they do, it’s just that monsters haven’t ever featured on