A few months ago I watched a documentary about the horrors in Beslan. It left me in tears and I was particularly struck by the six-year old girl who escaped but then crawled right back through the window. She survived, and when interviewed as to why she returned she said, “Because my mommy was there.” The child’s need to be with her mother was so strong that she risked death to do it. I understood… but I kind of didn’t.
This afternoon Renee and I were watching Madagascar. There is a throw-away scene where the animals help a baby duck back to a pond where it is promptly eaten by a gator. Tragic, but made funny by the twitch in the zebra’s eye. Renee turned to me and asked, “Momma? Where’s that baby’s mudder?” I told her I didn’t know. That did not sit well with her. After a few minutes’ thought and well into the next scene she turned back to me and said, “I think that gator ate the mudder first and now the mommy duck and her baby are together.” It took a few seconds for me to understand the importance of what she had said.
For Kris Kringle night, Santa’s elves put some candy and one of those doll inside a doll inside a doll inside a doll thingies in her stocking – except the doll was actually a penguin. Jack sat on the floor and showed a delighted Renee how it worked. He lined them up from biggest to smallest. “This is the daddy penguin,” he said pointing to the biggest and roundest. Renee disagreed. “No. That is the mommy penguin,” she corrected him. He smirked and moved on naming the penguins Mommy, Daddy, Amy, Amelia, and then finally, the smallest of allest Renee. Again Renee disagreed. “It goes like this,” she said lining them up her way – fat mommy penguin, tiny Renee penguin, Daddy, Amy, and Amelia. Jack tried again to be the biggest penguin, but in Renee’s head bigger is more important and I am the most important person in her world. In her head babies and mommies belong together – even if it means they both have to get eaten by a gator.
It is humbling to realize fully how essential I am.