As a child I loved to play "house". I would be the "mommy" and my dolls my "babies". I could do this for hours. It never crossed my mind that pretending may be all that I ever get to do. This past week I was able to play "mommy" again, this time with real child. And I loved it. We went out of town to visit friends and we took my 6 year old niece with us. I am used to having her stay overnight a few nights, but this is the first time I had her for a complete week. It was tiring. It was frustrating at times. It was annoying. It was a dream come true.
When strangers mistakenly assumed she was my daughter I did not correct the assumption. It was nice to feel "normal". She slept with us and her foot was always in my back. She talks in her sleep and woke me often. Her endless "But why, Jessie?" questions about drove me batty! She argued about brushing her teeth, taking a shower, wearing shoes, cleaning her messes and eating her veggies. It was great! She also held my hand as we slept. And called out for me to hold her when a nightmare scared her. She asked me to check that she rinsed all of the shampoo out of her. She wanted me to carry her when she was too tired to walk from the car at night. It is those moments that I miss the most now that she has gone home. I got into the shower this morning and saw her kid size bar of soap (compliments of the Quality Inn) sitting next to my large bar of soap and a wave of loneliness hit me. I am not really a mom....it was all make believe.