When Heather was a little girl her mother gave her a ceramic piggy bank with “For my Trip To The Moon” emblazoned on the side. Heather loved this piggy bank (as only a kid can love a piggy bank), and believed that if she could only save enough coins she really would be able to take a trip to the moon. Last year, when Annie started to understand what money was, Heather was excited to be able to pass the piggy bank on to her daughter.
Annie loved the piggy bank as much as her mama did, and whenever anyone gave her a coin she would squeal, sprint into her room, and drop it into her piggy. “For my trip to the moon!” she would announce as the coin clanked against the ones inside.
Last weekend, when I was cleaning out the garage, I came across a quarter just as Annie pushed into the garage to see what I was doing.
“Here,” I said. “For your trip to the moon!”
Annie beamed and ran out of the garage with the coin. I went back to cleaning, but about a minute later I heard a huge crash just outside the door to the garage. I charged over and swung open the door to see Annie standing there with tears shooting down her face. At her feet the piggy bank was shattered into a million pieces.
“What happened?” I asked.
“I… wanted… to… show… it… to… you!” she gasped.
I scooped Annie into my arms and she cried even harder.
“Fix it, Daddy!” she begged. “Put the pieces back together! Please! Fix it! With glue!”
As much as I wished I could fix it, the piggy bank was well beyond repair. Annie buried her head in my shoulder, crying, and my heart broke into as many pieces as the piggy bank.
Just then Heather walked into the room and saw the piggy bank – her piggy bank – broken. It may only have been a ten dollar piggy bank, but it’d brought the three of us to tears.
The good news is that Heather’s Mom, Linda, brought Annie a new piggy bank the next day (a “princess” piggy bank), and Annie was ecstatic. We sat together for a half hour, dropping all of her coins into the new piggy bank, and it was a huge weight of my chest to see her happy and the trauma of the previous day seemingly forgotten.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t much I could do to make Heather feel better. The “For Your Trip To The Moon” piggy bank was twenty-five years old, and unlike the princess piggy bank, a new one couldn’t be found at Target (nor could it replace the sentimental value of the original).
The piggy bank drama, of course, was small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, but it’s just another example of how I can’t make Heather feel better right now.
When we got the call pushing back the c-section because of the results from the test on The Acrobat’s lungs, Heather was pretty shaken up and nervous. I wanted to tell her not to worry – that everything would be okay – but after all we’ve been through these last five years I knew better than to say that. “Everything” isn’t always okay. Those words might have given her comfort when we were younger and didn’t know any better, but not now. These days I’m not sure what to say.
Still, I’ll keep trying to do what I can to make Heather as positive as possible. If she was once able to believe she could take a trip to the moon if only she could save enough coins, something tells me she can find the will to keep moving forward, hoping for the best.