missing toys.

early last week

a couple of maddy's

toys went missing.

a zebra stuffed animal and

her baby doll.

for a few days

she asked me where

they'd gone.

i had no idea.

her stuff goes

missing all the time, 

and i usually find 

it pretty quickly.

i've searched everywhere

for them.

they're not

in any of the

usual places

(i'm convinced they disappeared at daycare and have been buried under a mountain of toys, to be discovered accidentally sometime in the future).

but i told her

that i'd do my

best to find them. 


a few days went by

during which she

didn't mention her 

missing toys.

then on monday, 

on the way to daycare

she suddenly said, 

"daddy? where are my zebra and baby?"

i gave her the 

same answer i've

been giving all along:

"i don't know. but i'm going to keep searching."

then maddy said, 

"my zebra and baby are dead, just like my mommy."



it's not the first

time she's talked

about her mommy

being dead,

(and it hurts everytime)

but it's

the first time she's

demonstrated to me

that she has at least

a tacit understanding

of what death means.


i keep looking for

those missing toys, but

now i'm worried that

if i find them

and give them to her, 

i'll be fucking up

her understanding of death.


if i do 

find them, 

i'll put my worries

aside, give her

the toys

and do my best

to once again,

explain death

to a child under 3. 

(and i know for sure that this never gets easier).

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