An open letter to a beloved friend, soon to be gone

Dear Paci (or Binky, or “Bo-bo,” or whatever Lucia’s special name for you is – which we don’t know because she has YOU in her mouth when she says it),
I am realizing as the hour approaches when we are going to say good-bye how much I value you. I know that your primary attachment is to Lucia, and her to you, but I think I might have a secondary codependency with you. I encourage my daughter’s codependency with you because you have helped her sleep on nights when I was weary, quieted her during screaming fests that felt unbearable to me, in short, you have been there for her when I could not be. And that has made me happy while allowing you and Lucia to have a special, comforting relationship.

But now it’s time for you to go. As all “great” codependent relationships go, there comes a time when their harm becomes unavoidably obvious. And the irony is that the earlier a codependent relationship is broken, the easier it will be to extricate yourself from it. So now that Lucia is solidly attached to you, it is time for you to leave her – to leave us – to leave our family. We will send you away in a beautiful way, that honors your role (short as it has been) in our family yet also sets you free of each other forever. ¬†You will be attached to a brilliant helium-filled balloon, and will be released by Lucia to soar into the clear blue sky. Perhaps “paci heaven”? I’m not sure how Lucia will respond initially, but I am sure she will go through withdrawal. Sleep might be more difficult for all of us. I will likely cry for your return alongside my daughter.

But, alas, you will be gone forever. We will have memories and many pictures to acknowledge your presence in our family’s lives. And we will mark your passing with grief. Yet it will be mixed with relief – relief that your impact on our daughter’s speech will be over and that any mark you left on her dental framework can begin to be reversed.

So I guess it’s good-bye, farewell, sayonara, adios. Enjoy your trip to the heavenlies, and think of us fondly…

Heather, for all of us