My five year old son has beautiful long hair and as I comb his curls I tell him about a boy I saw in a movie this week. I tell him about how long his hair was and how he came about to cut it off. (Something to do with his mom, but no more spoiler alerts from me…)
‘Where was his dad?’ he asks. The truth I find too difficult to tell and I tell him we don’t know. That the movie doesn’t say so.
‘It’s just a mom and her son, just like you and me.’
‘That’s not the same, because I have a dad.’ He pauses before he continues: ‘I miss my dad.’
I sit down on the edge of the bed and pull him into my arms.
‘When do you feel that way? Just now? Or when you’re in bed? Or when you play at your friends’ house?’
‘All the time. I miss him all the time. And I cannot even put him in my dreams, because I have forgotten what he looks like.’
‘You don’t remember?’
‘But if you would like to dream about him, you can make something, or someone, up. What do you think he looks like? Or how would you expect him to be?’
‘With nice clothes.’
‘What do you mean by that?’
‘With beautiful green shoes. And pants that are half dark blue and half light blue. And a red T-shirt. He would have blue eyes, not dark like us. Very dark hair, lots of it. No mustache I hope, nor a beard. And a beautiful mouth. And a nose.’
‘Well, I’d hope so, because otherwise he would never be able to blow his nose and all the snot would just sit there.’ We laugh a bit.
Only men who live by themselves wear hats
He steps up a few stairs of the bunkbed and wavers his hand above my head: ‘I think he is this tall. And he is fat thin. So, normal. That means normal.’
We lie down in bed and as I stroke his hair I whisper to him: ‘I know I never really tell you anything about him, but if you ever want to ask me stuff, you can. You can ask me anything. If I have the answer, I’ll give it to you.’
After a brief pause he continues.
‘Mom, what does he like the most?’
‘What do you mean exactly?’
‘Well. What does he really like? What makes him happy?’
I have to think before I answer that one. ‘That’s a really good question to which I don’t have the answer. I honestly don’t know.’
We cuddle a bit before he goes on.
‘I think he makes pizza. And pies. Mmm, I wish I could eat them all.’ I can’t help but laugh and I continue our little ‘game’.
‘Do you think he would wear a hat? Or a cap?’
‘I think he doesn’t. Because only men who live by themselves wear hats.’
‘So who do you think he lives with then?’
‘With you and me.’ He’s quiet for a few seconds and then concludes: ‘So I guess he does wear a hat. Mom?’
‘I think I better go to sleep now.’