Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Big Talk

For most of the six plus years of Raphaela's life, she has very rarely asked about the identity of her biological father/sperm donor, and when she does ask, the subject passes fairly quickly.  In the last two weeks, Raphaela has become almost obsessive about it, and will frequently get this terribly sad look on her face and say, "I miss my Daddy."

Despite the fact that she knows the story of her conception, that I chose to have her and that she does not have a father who will come home, it has obviously become more pressing to her.  Since nothing has changed at home, I can only assume that not only is she more aware now that she is older, but that her classmates have also discussed it with her.

Toward that end, I met today with the School Counsellor/Psychologist, with the intention of gaining some insight and perhaps some tips as to how to deal with this in the best and healthiest way possible. After telling the Counsellor about my approach, she assured me that I am in fact a very good parent and that I am handling it well.

Then she expressed a desire to do more within the realm of the school, because it will undoubtedly come up again in Raphaela's six years at Evelyna.  The Counsellor suggested that she first have a casual sit down with my daughter, to see where her head is at.  Following that discussion, she plans on leading an activity in the classroom to talk about the legitimacy of every type of family;  every family is different, and what matters most is that there is love and a sense of security.  "The girls," she said, "need a common language of respect on the subject."

The Counsellor also told me that there is another girl in the class whose father died over two years ago, during the most recent war in Gaza.  She assured me that both my daughter and this other child show no signs of depression or a "lack thereof" of a father, that Raphaela is warm and well-adjusted, with a deep sense and appreciation of self.

I closed the session by telling the Counsellor that I do tell Raphaela that just because there is no father in the house at the moment, does not mean that someday I will meet a wonderful man who will become both husband and father.

To which the Counsellor applied, in true beautiful and authentic Israeli style, "Tell me what you are looking for, I know people, you know!"

1 comment:

Batya Medad said...

No doubt it's due to conversations with other kids. I remember two kids of similar ages (way back when) in my neighborhood who mixed up each other's situation, death and something else that had happend to parents. Is there any networking/support group/fb group of mothers like you? This may be a normal reaction for kids of her age.