Thursday, February 17, 2011

Joey

Soon after we found out that we were having a baby girl, Nile started talking about his "brother" Joey.  Aaron and I pretty much ignored him.  And didn't even think to tell anyone else about it.
Nile went to visit my sister and her family in the October after Adeline was born.  I got a random phone call from my parents.  Nile had just told them about Joey. 
Dad:  "You never told us that Nile had a brother."
Me: "I know, I guess it never came up.  We try to ignore it."
Dad: "Well, we're driving in the car and Nile just told all of us that he had a brother named Joey, but he died.  He took too many vitamins and then got in an elevator and pushed zero. And he died."
Me: "Wow. I haven't heard that one yet."
Nile always described Joey the same.  He was older than him, about 11.  He had "yellow" hair and blue eyes and wore a blue shirt.
And he was always very detailed with his stories and information about Joey.
So I started investigating how he would have come up with the story about Joey's death.  I realized that his preschool had just had someone come from the poison control center and talked to the kids about poison around the house.  And I suspected that vitamins was one of them.
I thought that would be the end of Joey, but, of course it wasn't.
Aaron's grandmother, Georgetta passed away on November 1st.  It was a very sad time for all of us, and it was Nile's first experience with death.  We took both kids to the funeral.  I decided to change Adeline right before the funeral began.  I came out of the restroom to see Nile standing by the casket.  A woman was on her knees with both hands on Nile's shoulders.  I could tell she was very upset.  So I went over to them as fast as I could.  The woman looked up at me, very compassionately, and said, "I never knew that you had lost a son.  I am so sorry!".  I had to explain that Joey was Nile's imaginary brother, and apologize. She barely believed ME.
Preschool conferences were scheduled at the same time.  The sign up sheet said they would take about 10 minutes.  Nile's, of course, lasted over a half hour.  The teacher had an extra sheet on the top of Nile's folder with a list of questions.  She asked about Nile's brother Joey right away.  She told me that he was very convincing with his stories, and it made the teachers very curious.  We talked about how Nile never seemed upset about Joey and we didn't think it was effecting him in a negative way, so we decided to let it go.
Over the months, Joey has come back to life.  He had gone to heaven and Jesus fixed him and made him all better.  So he's back.   He went to high school, where he decided he wanted to be called Joe.  So don't ever call him Joey...he gets upset.  He has a brother named Biley.  Joe and Biley do a lot of things that Nile isn't allowed to do.  And now Joe is finished with college and is a doctor.  He helps people get better and makes them so they don't die.  And Jesus helps him do his job.
I really try to keep our discussions about Joe short.  And I have explained to Nile that it's okay for him to tell stories, but he has to make sure that other people know that they aren't real.  But I have to admit that I am curious about what Joe will do next. (And so is everyone else that has been introduced to Joe!)

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