Fast forward, every few months over the course of the last year, a few moms would get together. We would bring the kids to a craft class and for an hour we would have coffee & chat. L loved this special time. For our bucket list of STL - one of the first things she wanted to do was go to the Caboose. I emailed the moms and we got the kids together. While, I didn't start with "this is our finale tour you will never see us again" in the back and forth I mentioned we were moving.
While we were leaving the 'Boose, one of her buddies came up to her to say goodbye & this happened.
"L. I think I won't see you again, because you are moving. I'm really going to miss you. I'm really sad."
And then something about being a really good friend, the details are blurry because I melted into mush. Instantly. And then they hugged. (Side note: seriously, is it just me or can you see L holding on for dear life?)
We got in the car, and it started.
"I don't want to move."
"I love it here."
"I love my friends."
"I'm gonna miss St. Louis."
"I'm going to miss my friends."
I told her, I know. And I love it here, too. I'll miss her friends - our friends - our house - I understand. But we'll have a good time - it will be exciting! A new adventure!!! Remember what it was like last time? We felt the same feelings, and look at how much we love St. Louis and our new friends? It will all work out.
"I know, Mommy - but I can miss my friends, too."
We had movie night. When it's move time, we eat pasta as much as possible and watch movies during the week. Basically, it's my survival. We watched Monsters, Inc. If you don't know the movie - it's hard to explain without really losing you on reality. Essentially monsters, in Monster World, need to gather screams from children to have power (get it? monster in the closet). It turns out, while they scare kids to gain power (electricity - not world domination) - they are really terrified of children. It's the strongest of the strong who lead the monster world. The main character, Sully (big blue guy), is the lead scarer and one day he comes upon a little girl (she slips through her closet door - the gateway to our world). Sully names her "Boo." Hilarious adventures ensue - fast forward, bad guy, good prevails and the energy crises is saved by finding out that laughter actually produces more energy than screams. After the victory Boo's closet door has to be destroyed, as she's "seen too much." This means Sully (Boo calls him, Kitty) can never see his little girl, ever again. It's sad.
In the end, Sully's buddy (Mike) puts together Boo's closet door so he can visit Boo again. And this happens.
Disclaimer: the only stupid clip I can find is one where some guy is crying in the background. But basically this is the scene where Sully's best friend, Mike (green guy) makes sure Sully can see Boo again. If nothing else, you need to see the end of the scene. Where Sully smiles.
As the credits roll, L immediately looks up at me and asks, "Why is he smiling like that?"
I explain, Sully is happy to see Boo - he missed her very much.
Almost immediately, she breaks open. Tears, sobbing, broken heart spilling all over our couch.
I ask her, "What are you feeling? What's going on, kid?"
She responds, "I don't know. He's just. Just, so cute."
But she doesn't need to explain. Her heart hurts, and there are no God damn closet doors she can walk through to see her friends - ever again. She will miss them, hard. And eventually it will fade and they will barely know the other existed - but right now? Right now, it's all she knows.