“Mooooooooom ooooooooooo Mooooooooom!” I swung my legs in between the banisters off the landing. I could hear Mom in the kitchen.
“Mooooooooom!” I saw her appear from the hall below me.
“What?” she said sharply looking up at me from down stairs.
“I love you,” I said smiling.
She let out a log exasperated breath. “I love you too Honey.” Mom ran her fingers through her hair. “Are you stuck?”
“No see,” I lifted my legs out from the bars to show her.
“Good, can you come down here please? I need to talk to you.”
“Coming” I crawled over to the stairs and lay on my belly. Slowly I slid myself forward on the stairs like a snake. When I reached the bottom I straightened out my tutu and I saw Mom had gone into the living room.
“Come here Sweetie,” she patted the couch beside her. I didn’t like this.
I put my feet in Mom’s lap so that my head rested on the arm of the couch. I could see her face as she thought over what to say.
“Honey, I need to tell you something.”
I started playing with the parts of my skirt that were frayed and pokey.
“Mom, is what you have to say sad?”
My face scrunched up. “Do you have to tell me?”
“Yes Honey, I’m afraid so.” I poked a hole through the tool. “Have you noticed that Mommy has been sick a lot lately?”
“Yes, that’s because she’s going to have another baby.”
“What makes you say that?”
“Because, Gram’s mommy keeps throwing up and he says that’s what happens when moms have babies growing in them.”
“Gram from daycare?” I nodded.
“Well sometimes that’s why women throw up, but that’s not why Mommy is sick.” I looked up at Mom, still poking holes into my tutu. “Mommy has something called breast cancer. Sweetie do you know what that is?”
“Gram’s dog Muffy died from cancer.”
“Yes, sometimes people die from cancer too.”
“Is Mommy going die?”
“We don’t know right now Sweetie.” Mom’s eyes were shiny the way mine got when I was about to cry. I let go of my skirt and crawled into her lap, giving her a hug.
“Mom?” She sniffed and I still held on to her shirt. “If Mommy dies does that mean I get a Daddy?”
She laughed, and held me tight.
“No, Honey. That’s not how it works.” she kissed me on the forehead.