I knew something was bothering him.
I assured him, as I always do, that he can tell me anything.
Reluctantly, he explained that Dad threw his monkey nightlight away. The monkey nightlight that’s been in his room since he was born.
The nightlight is a cheap one I bought at Target. I saw it in one of those bins at the front of the store where everything is less than $5.00.
The nightlight went well with his room, and G has always like monkeys. His most prized possession is a stuffed monkey (named Monkey, go figure) he has slept with since he was old enough to have it in his crib.
The problem is that the nightlight is essentially made of paper and wire. After a while, the paper started to rip on the very top and bottom.
At one point, I found an almost identical monkey nightlight at Target. Same basic design but with a different monkey image. This monkey was swinging from a tree. He didn’t like it.
While G appreciated the fact that I bought him a new nightlight, he asked if he could just use his old one. I said we’d use his monkey nightlight as long as it lasted and put the backup nightlight in his closet.
My husband wasn’t part of the initial monkey nightlight conversation.
He didn’t want to admit it to Dad, but he really wasn’t ready to let go of the nightlight. G couldn’t quite explain why, but he just really didn’t want to see that nightlight in the trash. Tears flowed once he confessed to me.
That light has been in his room with him for his entire life. He can’t sleep without it. It keeps the monsters away and gives him the freedom to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom without calling mom and dad.
I felt for him. We all have possessions that mean a lot to us. Possessions that may seem meaningless to others, but something about them makes us feel happy and safe inside.
I gave him a big hug and told him that I understood. We took it out of the trash, and I put it on his bureau. We decided to start using the new nightlight but to figure out something to do with the old nightlight since it means so much. I’m thinking of cutting the paper out with an exacto knife and framing it for him. (Please share any ideas you may have. I’m all ears.)
Sometimes, letting go is hard. Even when you are 6.