Some days my mommy had so much energy she would play all day and almost all night with me. We would laugh together and sing, and she would take me to so many places. Those were some of my favorite days. On those days we would listen to music all day and during the night she would play it so loud that it would keep me up. The next day I would be really tired at school, and one time I accidentally fell asleep on the bus and missed my stop. That day my mommy yelled and I cried. She was mad because she was busy when she had to get me from the bus station. I don't sleep during bus rides anymore.
Other days she would sleep all day and night on the couch, and I didn't like those days very much. It was lonely on those days because I had no one to talk to or play with. On those days my tummy would growl and I would try to find food in the house because sometimes mommy forgot to get some. I liked going to school on those days because there was food there. My lunchbox isn't very big but it could fit my leftovers from lunch in it, and some days I ate those for dinner. Sometimes I had to hide the food I brought home from school because it would upset mommy. She told me it would make her look bad if people knew I was doing that, and I didn't want to make her look bad. She's a good mommy.
Some days I didn't know where my mommy was but I thought maybe she was at work. I didn't know what she did for work, and I didn't ask because sometimes it upsets her when I ask a lot of questions. Our home would be empty for a couple of days, but some of my school friends lived in the same building and I got to stay with them. I didn't mind those days because I got to hang out with my friends, but sometimes I missed my mommy and wanted her to come home. When she did come home I would be excited to see her. Sometimes she would bring her friends with her and they would stay with us. Some of them were nice and others made me feel nervous.
One time my mommy got super sick. She didn't leave the couch. On those days her skin looked white and she stayed wrapped in a lot of blankets even though she was sweating. I left a bucket next to the couch for her to puke in, and slept on the floor next to her to make sure she was okay. The school nurse called when I wasn't at school, and she told them I was sick. She told me that when she was better I could go back to school. I knew she needed me at home. I held her hand when she slept and tried to be brave for her but it was scary seeing her so sick. One day she started crying and yelling, she said she was in a lot of pain. I got so scared I called the emergency number we were taught at school and asked for a doctor for my mommy. An ambulance came and took her to the hospital. Some police officers showed up too. The police asked me my name and my age. "I'm Anna, and I'm six."
They let me ride with my mommy in the ambulance. Even though I was scared it was exciting to ride in the ambulance. On that day the police officers asked me some questions while I waited for the doctor to come to get me so I could see my mommy. "Anna, how long have you been home with your mom?"
"A few days, she's super sick and needed me home to help her feel better," I said.
"So, you haven't been to school?"
I shook my head in response and the police officers looked at each other. I started to worry they were about to arrest me for not going to school. I felt like I was about to cry. "I don't want to go to jail." I started to cry.
One of the police officers sat next to me, "Anna, honey, you're not going to jail! We just have some more questions for you. Do you feel up to talking with us some more while you wait for your mom?"
I wiped my eyes and nodded.
"Okay, first question. What's your favorite thing about school?"
I thought about it for a minute. "I like my teacher. She reads lots of cool stories and before class, she brushes my hair for me. I also like the lunch ladies because they give me extra breakfast and lunch. Recess is nice too because I can play with my friends."
"Does your teacher brush your hair for you every day?"
"No, only some days. Usually, the days that mommy spends sleeping on the couch or when she isn't home." The police officers looked at each other again and I saw the other one writing something in a notebook. "What are you writing?"
She looked at me and put her notebook down, "We are just taking notes so we know how to help your mom. Is it often that she isn't home?"
I answered every question they asked. I told them about how sometimes mommy had lots of energy to play, and some days she slept all day. I told them about my lunchbox and how I brought food home from school, but I asked them not to tell my mommy that I told them that. She would get angry with me if she knew I did that. I also told them about the sleepovers with my friends when she was gone and how I thought she was at work when she was away.
"Do you know what she does for work?"
"I don't know. My mommy doesn't like it when I ask a lot of questions."
That day was the first time I met Ms. Clara. That day the doctor never came to bring me to see my mommy. On that day my Grammy showed up and was asked to bring me home. They told me I'd be able to see my mommy sometime soon, but she couldn't leave the hospital yet. That day changed my life and since that day my Grammy has taken care of me. Since that day the teacher no longer has to brush my hair for me. Since that day I bring my lunchbox to school with food in it and don't bring food home. There's always food at my Grammy's house. My Grammy works at a desk in a doctor's office, and she likes it when I ask questions. Most days I miss my mommy, though.
Some days my mommy will come to see me at my Grammy’s house. Sometimes Ms. Clara will pick me up from school and we meet my mommy somewhere to visit. We talk about school and what I'm learning. I always check if she's still sick and when I'll be able to come home. She still doesn't like it when I ask questions, it makes her upset. Some days I ask Ms. Clara those questions. "Sometimes, people who are sick, like your mom, stay sick. Other times, they get better. Maybe someday your mommy will get better, and you'll get to go back to your mommy's house."
I told my Grammy what Ms. Clara said. My Grammy told me Ms. Clara is right, but she prays to God every day that my mommy will get better so I can go home. That night I could hear my Grammy crying. I wondered if my mommy ever cried for me, and I wondered if she prayed like my Grammy. Sometimes, I cried at night too. I miss my mommy.
Sometimes my mommy misses her visits with me. On those days I worry that she is at home sick like the day I called for help. I wonder if anyone is there to take care of her and make sure she is okay. Sometimes I wonder if she is at work, or if she is at the doctor trying to get better. Some days I worry my Grammy will get sick too, or that one day I'll end up sick like my mommy.
Today, Grammy picked me up early from school. She had been crying, and I felt worried. She didn't talk in the car, but she lifted her glasses to wipe her eyes often. I asked if she was okay, and she just shook her head. My Grammy didn't mind when I asked questions, but today it seemed she did. When we got to her house Ms. Clara was there and also looked like she'd been crying. I felt confused and worried.
"Anna, there is something that we need to tell you." Ms. Clara said.
Today, I learned my mommy was no longer sick. My Grammy told me not to worry or be sad because my mommy could never get sick again. Ms. Clara told me she was in a better place, but I didn't understand.
"She isn't sick anymore though. If it's better, why can't I go there and be with her?" I asked.
"Sometimes it can be hard to understand, but someday you'll see her again." My Grammy held me with tears in her eyes. I felt sad but didn't know why. It's probably because my Grammy and Ms. Clara were sad, but they said someday I would see my mommy again. They said she couldn't be sick or get sick ever again, so I was happy.
Sometimes I wonder how long it is until someday when I see my mommy again. I wonder if she is happy where she is. I wonder if the better place has good doctors that made her better. Some days I wonder if she misses me because some days I really miss her.