After years of our family driving to see April every weekend (I would go alone on Thursdays) and having her in her life since she was born, I wonder what she must be thinking and feeling about when suddenly her sister is removed from her life.
Still, on occasion Sophie will quietly mention that she misses her sister. She will remain contemplative and go on with what she was doing. Its always hard to know what to say. Today, I just said that I miss her too. That we all do.
I have become good at not showing how much it hurts to have an alienated daughter programmed to hate you.
I manage a smile to re-assure Sophie that things will be okay and we will see April soon.
Sophie doesn't seem convinced though. She leans against the couch, looking down at the carpet.
Sophie set her peanut butter and jelly sandwich down (yes she had a PB&J for breakfast) and walks over to me. She gave me a long, loving embrace. Sophie does that. I swear she seems to know exactly when I need a hug and now I am really fighting back tears.
I always feel guilty when I have to change the subject. Today, I remind Sophie that she has a dentist appointment and immediately think, Good job Joe, because nothing brightens up a 4 year old like a trip to the dentist.
"and then we''ll go shopping," I add, a little more enthusiastically.
Sophie seems to liven up a bit and asks,"To Winco?"
At the dentist Sophie is complimented on how brave she is. Both the assistant, a young woman named Ashley, and the dentist say how much they look forward to her visit when they see her name on the days schedule.
Sophie really is a good girl at the dentist. I want to share some of my dentist experiences that I had with April when she was around Sophie's age with both the Ashley and Sophie. But Sophie was thoroughly engaged in a lively conversation with Ashley, and I was just happy that for now her big sister, who she hasn't seen in months, is tucked somewhere in the back of her mind.