How do you tell a child his world is about to end?
How do you comfort a mind and heart that fears without understanding exactly what that fear is? How do you keep that mind and heart from blaming himself where he shares no guilt?
How do you convince a tiny broken heart that leaving him is not abandonment, that the end of his life's routine of being with Daddy every day, playing, running and just being silly together is not to be?
I don't know how. I held Kaleb while he cried, his little body usually so sturdy and energetic, now limp and fragile. He cried for a long time and I held him for a long time, stroking his hair, kissing his cheek, rubbing his back...feeling helpless.
He cried alone, for though I'll admit to crying, now was not my time. It was his, it was my son's time to start healing. To shed the tears that let him relieve tonight's pain, leading into tomorrow's hopefully lesser pain.
Kaleb's asleep now. We read a book about pirates, watched part of a movie, took in the first half of a basketball game. Routine. Tomorrow it won't be. Tomorrow we say goodbye to each other in a way we've never done before. It will be his turn to cry again and my turn to help him with a brave face, a calm demeanor that will reassure my little boy that, yes, I love him, that I will be there for him, that I will return again and again to be his Daddy forever. But my face and my words cannot heal him; maybe his tears will help.
Kaleb's time to cry has passed and will come again. Mine is now.