Opening night for Cinderella's play.
It's Maleficent's visitation weekend, so she is to be here at 5pm to pick up Cinderella and bring her to the school early for hair and make-up.
6am: We get the call informing us that school's been closed on account of freezing rain.
7am: I get the email telling me the play has also been canceled.
A flurry of emails ensue throughout the day from her Drama teacher updating the parents on how this impacts the remaining performances.
Maleficent is not on the distribution list so I forward each one to ensure she is equally informed, especially since the responsibility of picking up and dropping off in between performances falls on her.
Around lunchtime Cinderella calls her Mom to confirm she knows the play has been canceled and that she is still coming at 5pm for their regular visitation.
Maleficent does not pick up. Cinderella leaves messages on her cell and home numbers and continues to stress throughout the day because that's what she does. She needs constant reassurance for even the most routine of events.
3pm: Maleficent leaves a cryptic message on our voicemail:
I won't be able to take Cinderella to her play tonight. I'm in the hospital. But don't tell her that. Just tell her I'm not feeling well and that I love her.
She is audibly distressed. She's been crying.
She has no idea school's been cancelled. No idea the play is not happening tonight.
I start to worry. I know she has been having medical problems for the past year, but the details are fuzzy. Maleficent hasn't exactly been very forthcoming, so most of what we "know" comes from Cinderella's offhand comments and show of concern for her Mom.
How the hell am I going to explain to her that her Mom is not coming without being bombarded with a flurry of questions about the rest of the weekend? This is her visitation weekend with her Mom. Will she see her at all?
Cinderella is naturally inquisitive and obsesses over her pick ups and drop offs. She is not going to accept this.
I can't accept it either. She is eleven years old. Old enough to know the truth. She deserves it.
(Never mind that in my head I am imagining the worst case scenario and wondering if we could live with ourselves should something terrible happen and Cinderella not be given the chance to see her Mom in the hospital.)
It takes me an hour to get a hold of Prince Charming to find out if he knows any more so we can decide what and how to tell Cinderella.
The message from Maleficent on his voice mail mentions that she may need surgery.
And, again, she asked that we NOT to tell Cinderella.
It's now one hour before Maleficent is supposed to be here.
The Prince and I go back and forth on what to do.
Do we tell her?
Or do we honor her mother's request?
What would YOU do?