“Mom,” Nora whispered loudly. “That lady has a baby in her tummy!”
Standing in the middle of a full elevator, I chuckled uncomfortably and quietly agreed. Eleanor then turned away from me and addressed the pregnant woman directly, “I have a baby too.”
The woman smiled kindly as Nora, with unwavering enthusiasm, kept going, “Yeah, my baby died.”
The woman audibly gasped, and darted her eyes towards me – I could tell she expected me to assure her that it wasn’t true… Perhaps I would counter with a casual response about a 3 year old’s active imagination, or maybe I would blame it on a mild naughty streak…
Instead, I gently smiled and affirmed of my daughter’s declaration.
The elevator grew painfully silent.
As the pregnant woman hugged her baby-belly and looked anywhere but at my small daughter, Eleanor turned back towards me, “I love our baby, mom.”
The elevator doors opened and as we walked away I took my daughters small hand in mine and tried to encourage her enthusiasm, her bravery… her grief, “I know you do darling, you are such a good big sister!”