Wo ai ...

by Kristi Van Dyk

(an excerpt from a conversation with my little man as he avoids sleep) ... 

"Momma?" (repeated 18 times in rapid succession so I have no chance to answer)
"Yes, J?"
"Momma home??"
Yes, I smiled and replied, "Momma is staying home tonight and tomorrow. It's just a Momma and kids day." 
"Oh Okay. Momma home. Baba home?" 
"No, honey, Baba has to work tomorrow."
With a little sadness in his voice, "Oh, Baba work to...mor...oh"
"Good job, that's a tricky word. Yes baba works." 
"Oh. Ge ge home?"

.... and on and on it went through each member of the family until he could recite (in a row) the plans of each person in the family, including the family cat, for the following day. Only after this was clearly implanted in his brain, would he rest. 

He finished his long recitation, "Momma Home. Ge Ge home and baseball. Kayleigh home and bal ... leh. Maddie home and gym. Kitty home (complete with gestures). Baba work." did he finally get quiet. I was sure we could rest now and I waited for the soft rhythm of his breathing to slow ... 

So, I was startled when he sat bolt upright, took my face in his hands, pressed his nose close to mine and said, "Di di !!!! Di Di home bye bye? ... Di di say bye bye home tom .. or ... oh?" 

He couldn't be really asking this, could he? "Are you asking if you have to leave our home tomorrow? To say goodbye to our home??" 

He nods ... and waits, still gripping my face. 

"Oh no, baby ... No Joshua, no. You never have to say goodbye to our home. Di Di is home." He collapsed into a snuggly heap, popped his thumb in his mouth, and happily chanted to himself, in just above a whisper, "Wo ai Momma. Wo ai Baba. Wo ai Ge Ge. Wo ai Kayleigh. Wo ai Maddie. Wo ai kitty ...." Over and over he softly chanted it around his thumb until he fell asleep. 

And I was reminded again about how its not about how many times he makes it to the toilet each day, or how fast he burns through all of the food we purchase. How its not about the number of hours we spend each night getting him to rest, or the ways we are adjusting to make his new life as secure as possible. It's about a home, a permanent home. A home that won't shift or change or fade away. A home that is secure.