James and I, well we’ve currently got an affinity to sing as many Frozen songs to each other as we possibly can. I can turn round in the hallway and sing to him ‘Let the storm rage on’ and he will hit back with ‘The cold never bothered me anyway’. We’re like Idina Menzal and Kirsten Bell but in Mother and Son form. It’s weird but we love it.
We’ve probably watched the film a silly amount of times and we laugh at the same parts each time and James mimics the words and it’s aces.
He’s understanding the concept of the storyline now and how Christof and Ana fall in love (‘They love each other Mummy Aww’) and how Elsa makes things frozen when she’s full of rage (‘Mummeh, can I make ice things when I’m sad?’). He gets it; you have an emotion and you react. James is full of emotions and it’s amazing trying to figure him out at the moment. He knows that if he does the bottom wibbly lip pout, it shatters my heart into a thousand pieces and I would give him my everything. He also knows that if he does that whine which ALL the children in ALL the world know how to do, it makes me want scream into a pillow. So he does it louder.
Whilst he is exploring these emotions, which we are freely letting him do, he needs to know what feelings are after all, it has brought out the protective Mama Bear out in me more than ever and now (especially since we have hit full on into the ‘WHY’ phase) I’m finding myself lying in order to protect him.
Case in point:
1. ‘Mummy, why does there have to be baddies?’ ‘Er, well they are called baddies for a reason and they never win and you don’t have to worry about that because you’re a good person’
2. ‘Mummy, why you going to work? You sad bout work?’
‘I ask this same question everyday bubs, but mainly it’s to keep you in Lego pieces. Build Mama a house to live in please and I can stop working’
3. ‘Mummy, why can’t I have some more cake and not eat my dinner and drink your special juice (gin) that makes you laugh?’
‘Because gin is for old people and you’re are young’
And so on and so on. I know we all lie to our children, sometimes we do it to pacify them because after the hundredth time of ‘But whhhhhhy’, it seems like the only logical thing to do.
We lie about the Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy and Father Christmas but this is all part of their upbringing. It’s to keep them children for as long as you can.
We’ve always tried to be as honest as we can with James in some things though, as we want to instil that in him and so that he understands certain situations. He has to learn and grow too.
But as we watched Frozen for the second time last weekend, there was an opportunity to be completely honest with him. A chance to show him a fact of life that no one can escape from.
As we watched the scene where the Mother and Father leave Ana and Elsa for a trip at sea, the music tempo changes and the scene gets darker. Something ominous is about to occur and your heart sinks when you realise they’re not coming back. James realised they weren’t coming back and with very teary eyes and a silent cry (that cry where there is no noise but they hold their breath for what feels like eternity) he turned to me and sobbed.
I held him so tight and tried to comfort him and seek out what had spooked him so much.
‘Don’t leave me Mummy’
‘Baby boy, I will never leave you, I will always be here. You will always have me’
I kept it together somehow and just like any 3 year old should, he got excited by the next song which was thankfully 2 minutes later.
But later on, once he was in bed, I thought about the lie I told him. Of course there was no way I was about to go on a mortality discussion with a child, a boy who’s main concern at the moment is how far he can kick his pants across the room when he goes for a wee. I just hope that he won’t remember that lie I told because I won’t always be around. None of us live forever.
It was the biggest lie I’ve told him, to protect his wee fragile heart. I don’t regret it. I don’t want him to think about me going away or leaving him for a ‘trip on a ship in a storm’. He doesn’t need to know right now what happens after that storm.
He just needs to know his Mummy (and Daddy) will always be here. Riding out the storm.
The lies we tell.