In the Clouds

Instead of letting my daughter create a fantasy world, I decided to give her some facts.

watercolor pink fluffy clouds
Image created via Midjourney

Spring has had a slow start this year. I keep thinking it’s around the corner — even to the point where I packed away my sweaters. Yet it has been a roller coaster of rainy weather, cold, and general glumness.

But I’m sure the turning point is coming. We’ve had a few days where the sunshine has given us a taste of better weather. One such day was last week. I picked up Autumn from preschool. She was on the school playground without a coat and joyfully skipped to the car when I arrived.

On the way home, out of nowhere, she said, “I have two sisters.”

I was slightly taken aback. While Theo and Quentin are well aware that we lost two babies, it isn’t something that I’ve talked about around Autumn much. We were dealing with a pandemic and “surviving that” took most of my energy. My support group didn’t have most of our regular events to honor our babies. And before the pandemic, Autumn was too little to understand.

Very recently, she told me that she wanted sisters, so I thought that her comment about having two sisters was related. But instead of letting her create a fantasy world, I decided to give her some facts.

“Yes,” I replied, “You do have two sisters. Their names are Nelle and Iris.”

Autumn looked at me. Not confused, but intrigued.

“We can’t see them,” I went on, “They live up in the clouds.” I gestured toward the fluffy white clouds outside of the car window.

“Nooooooo,” Autumn said. “They don’t live in the clouds. Only fairies live in the clouds.”

“Your sisters are like fairies,” I told her. She doesn’t really have a concept of angels or heaven, so fairies seemed like a good substitute. “You can’t see them, but they can hear you. You can talk to them.”

At this, she perked up. “I can talk to them?”

“Yes,” I assured her. “You can talk to your sisters. You can tell them anything you’d like.”

A big, satisfied smile spread across Autumn’s face. “Ok,” she said. “I have to tell my sisters a story. About fairies. And they can hear me.”


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