I don't think she knows.
John had sat her down and told her in terms a five year old can understand, but, to me, at least, the words aren't registering.
"Come on, Sprite. We have to get you to school." She's coming with me, in an effort to save gas, miles on one of the cars, while John is at home, searching for employment, looking for ways to bring us back to where we need to be.
"And Daddy is going to work?"
"Daddy is looking for work, so that's kind of like a job."
A full time job with mandatory overtime. The only compensation is relief when an actual position comes along.
Eight days have passed since he called me with the bad news. Our daily routines are skewed completely, each morning and evening planned minutes before execution to save on time, energy, money.
Conversations are hushed and urgent, his upbeat attitude trying to keep my natural tendency to STRESS OUT afloat in the murky atmosphere of uncertainty. Some things are discussed in front of Sprite, some things behind a closed door. We want her to see how we handle this together, but when it comes to bills and planning each upcoming paycheck, well, I'd rather fill her head with puppies and rainbows and those stupid FurReal Dizzy Dancers she keeps asking for every time a commercial flashes by during her cartoon.
(She's asked in advance for an Easter present. Being that we've never given her one before, this is a first, however, it still stung when I thought about how, even if I didn't want to get her one, I actually can't right now since it doesn't qualify as a necessity.)
How much of this is filtering through?
Thinking back to the last few months where everything was smooth sailing, life was zen, my worst issue was trying to beat the hunger to lunch time, fretting over how much free time my evenings would allot ME when the child was done with her demands.
We've sailed into rough seas now, and the worst part about it is the unknown. I've never been friends with surprises. I was actually proud of myself for holding it together the first night. But when I received news that my good friend's husband had also been laid off the very next day, I lost it. I cried into John's shoulder, giving in to the pity I had felt sitting on my own.
We're standing strong together, John and I. We make a great team. I've always known that, especially when we became parents. He's looking. Hard. Going after every lead he can. The support and words of encouragement he's received from family, friends, co-workers, and clients have been bolstering, welcome to us.
We know what our goals are, we know what our resources are. We will make it through this like so many American families are doing right now.