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My Mommy's Monster
Mommy is in the Clean Place. There’s a mean, ugly, monster inside of her, chewing out her insides, so the doctors need to get it out, and then she can come home.
Granny and Grandpa are here while Daddy is staying over at the Clean Place with Mommy. They keep giving me ice cream, and special chocolate, and all the stuff Mommy never lets me have. Enjoying a puzzle together, I always have fun when my grandparents are here! They are only here because Mommy is getting the monster removed though. They keep telling me to stop yelling, and stop jumping all over daddy. Daddy even gets mad at me, yelling even though all I wanted to do was say hi. The whole house has been ornery since Mommy’s been gone. I bet Mommy wouldn’t yell at me if she was here….
It’s not fair! I want Mommy home so she can make me yummy things to eat, and I want Daddy to play outside with me again. Why does he look so sad and angry? Mommy’s only staying in the Clean Place for a little while, just until they can catch her monster.
I wonder what it will look like when they pull it out of her. Maybe if we put it in a reeaaallllyyy strong cage, we can bring it home as a pet. I wouldn’t mind a pet monster; as long as it’s in its cage, and not in Mommy’s body, I’m sure Daddy wouldn’t care. I wonder what color it is. I’m thinking maybe puke green, because everyone knows that’s the color when you’re sick. Or maybe its bright, angry, loud orange! Ughh, I hate orange. Well whatever color it is, I hope I can see Mommy soon!
Daddy seems worried.
I ask Daddy why it’s taking so long for Mommy to come home. Plopping me on his knee, I peer up at his eyes, looking for solace, and wonder why he is crying. I’ve never seen Daddy cry before; something must be wrong. And just like that, my feelings about the monster change from being curious to hating it. I hate the monster. And I’m scared of it, of its power. How mean must it be to make my Daddy, my strong, brave daddy, cry! Daddy doesn’t say anything for a long, long time. He just hugs me close and I can hear my heartbeat going thud-thud-thud against his chest. That’s when I decide: I’m mad at the sky.
Specifically, I’m mad at the man who lives in the sky. Mommy always tells me to watch what I do, because the old man in the sky can see everything, all the time. He’s a sort of Santa Claus I think, except he doesn’t bring presents. Sitting on Daddy’s lap, he tells me about the man in the sky, about how he is watching out for Mommy, and how we should love the man in the sky so he could love us back. But I don’t love the man in the sky anymore. I’m so angry at him, angry that he let my Mommy go away for a long time, angry that he let a monster live inside of her. My tiny body shaking with anger, I don’t know what to think. I had loved the man in the sky, just like Mommy and Daddy had always told me to, so why did he not love me and my family back?
Did I do something wrong? Is that why Mommy won’t come home? I promise I’ll be better. I won’t ever fight with my sister again, and I’ll clean up all my toys, and I’ll make my bed every day, I swear! Just let my Mommy come home, old man in the sky, and I’ll be as good as I can possibly be.
I just want to hug my Mommy, and kiss her, and love her. Daddy’s quietness is scaring me; now I don’t think Mommy is ever going to come home. What if they can’t get the monster out? What if it bites, and claws, and attacks anyone who comes near it? Can my Mommy live with that monster still inside of her? Something in Daddy’s face tells me no: if they can’t get the monster out my Mommy is going to die.
I don’t understand why Mommy can’t come home. I miss her, and I love her, and I want her home, so why can’t she come home? Mommy always said if I wanted something hard enough, I could probably make it happen. So why can’t I make this, which I’m wishing for really, really hard, happen?
I’m worn out from all this anger and there’s an empty feeling inside, right underneath my ribs, that hasn’t gone away since Mommy left for the Clean Place. Before I thought Mommy was going to be okay, so why am I so scared now? Deep, deep in my heart I believe that the monster has already won. I believe that it has already taken my Mommy away. So I lie down on my bed, with the quilted cover that Mommy helped me pick out, and cry.
I cry and cry and cry, until I can’t cry anymore. By this time it’s dark outside, and I go stand beside my window. I can see a star, shining really brightly, speeding towards me in the distance. I hold my breath and cross my fingers tight and hope that this is the man in the sky because I have a lot of things I want to tell him. The light from the star fills my room, and I hide under my quilt, scared of the star. An old man’s voice comes from the star and its surrounding cloud; I think it sounds a bit like my grandpa. He comforts me, telling me everything is going to be okay, and my Mommy will be fine. Sleepily, I try to ask him about the monster, but my words don’t come out right. I fall asleep like that, with my arm reaching out, as if holding the man in the sky’s hand.
I wake up in the morning, and Daddy wants to take me to see Mommy! I’m so excited! I run around the house, bumping into everything, gathering up Mommy’s things which I’m sure she will want. It’s boring in the Clean Place, I think, so she will definitely want her stuff! The whole car ride over I’m thinking about the man in the sky, and how he kept his promise to make my Mommy well again. We walk up the steps of the Clean Place together, my Daddy and I. Turning through endless white hallways, we stop outside a room. Daddy opens the door, and I take a deeeeep breath.
I stand there, ready to face the monster at last.