Talking About The Absent Parent: Be Cool, Calm and NiceChristine Coppa
“Mom, why does my arm do this?” JD asked as he stretched his arm out and it twisted.
“Because you’re double-jointed like mommy, look,” I said doing the same thing.
“Does my dad’s arm look like this?” JD asked.
“Hmmm, I don’t … know,” I said.
“Did you ever see my dad’s arm?” JD asked.
And the roller coaster dropped.
“I did,” I said. JD’s eyes were searching for more.
“And I used to hold his hand and we’d hold them in his coat pocket to keep each other warm,” I said.
“What else?” JD asked.
“Let’s see. We ate a lot of Mexican food together. Maybe that’s why you like Mexican food so much.”
“What else did my dad eat,” JD asked.
“Hmm, pizza, lots of healthy veggies, sushi, cupcakes from a little bakery where I used to live. Oh and we always went to the diner around the corner from my apt. We liked diner food a lot! (Suddenly memories I didn’t know I had flooded my head space.) And once he cooked up a giant batch of mashed potatoes and we ate them at his friend’s apartment,” I said. Mashed potatoes and wine. ha.
“What else did he cook?” JD asked.
“He made me a delicious pumpkin pie once and we walked to the market and bought Cool Whip to top it with,” I said. We ate it in my bed, I remembered. On top of the covers.
“Cool,” JD said.
“Did he like superheros?” JD asked.
“Your father is a really fast runner, faster than Superman. So I think he might,” I said. “But we never talked about Superheros.”
“What did you talk about?” he asked.
“Oh you know, grownup stuff,” I said.
“Like what?” he asked.
“Well, once we went to a museum and looked at famous photography so we talked about that,” I said.
“Like me and you go to MOO-Seums,” he said.
I smiled at this sweet little blond boy.
“Yes kiddo,” I said.
I waited for another question, but one didn’t come. JD went back to playing while I was left in a world of mashed potatoes, pie, hand-holding, margaritas and Annie Leibovitz