Questions from a 4 year-old

I received some sad news today.

One of Kenley’s teacher’s has been bravely battling cancer for quite some time and it has recently attacked with a vengeance. She is at home, surrounded by family and hospice. Until several weeks ago, she has been at school every morning- teaching songs, producing the preschool Christmas performance, and yoga moves. In fact, Kenley brought home a valentine from Mrs. W.

The Preschool Director emailed the parents this afternoon letting us know that this teacher, Mrs. W, would not be returning to school to work and that we should be prepared to have this discussion with our child when the time arises.

It just breaks my heart and inspires it at the same time. If I were sick, I can’t help but wonder- would I be able to go to work each and every day? Or would I want to lay in bed with the covers over my head? What courage and strength that must take.

It goes to show, once again, just how special teachers are- how they are the ones who are energized, not drained, by children.  I am in awe of that.

With this news, I placed a call to a friend of mine who is a grief counselor and has worked with Hospice, on how to best handle the situation. I don’t want my children to know loss at such an early age, yet death is a guarantee. As much as I would like to take that away, I cannot. Prolong them knowing, yes. Take it away, unfortunately not.

Yet for my children, unfortunately, they have learned loss early on. With the death of my father, whom they never know, and my miscarriage last winter.

There are photos of “Daddy Boone” all over my house, although they never met him, they still ask about him. Just the other day as I was pouring milk for Britton I told her how Daddy Boone would always say, “Milk on ice is mighty nice.”  Or pulling into the driveway, I catch myself saying aloud, “home again, home again, never to roam again.”

Kenley, interestingly enough, asks my about Daddy Boone all the time. At least once a week. How did he die? Why did he get cancer? Did I know him? Is he in heaven? Did Aunt Britty know him? How do I know he is in heaven? Did Sassy marry Daddy Boone? 

She does it quite often with the miscarriage too. I made the mistake of telling the girls we were pregnant last Christmas morning. At the time, I was 8 or 9 weeks, green in the face sick, and wanted it to be one of their “presents” on Christmas morning. It is on the home video and everything. Unfortunately, when that pregnancy ended abruptly, it left a number of unanswered questions for them. As best I could, I tried to answer them.
And still, 13 months later my little 4 year old continues to ponder. Why did the baby in your tummy die? Where did it go?

These are not questions I want my children to have to ask. But, a fact of life, it is.

Until this afternoon, I have chalked it up to K being inquisitive. And that is, in part, what is is given her age.
However, my friend pointed out to me that since she had been though so much already at her age, that she is more in touch and sensitive to these type of things, than most children. She understands sickness, and doctors and health better than most children. Heck, sometimes I think her little soul understands it better than any adult I know.

I will continue to pray for this special teacher, her family- and take Kenley’s lead on how to answer her questions, to the best of my ability, when and if they arise.

On a much happier note, we set up the Robinson Rules yesterday, and so far, I must say it has been going great. With the implementation of expectations and parameters, it’s like my child feels more at ease and happier.

She has gone the extra mile to help little sister (computer, bath time, crafts), does homework cheerfully.. yes, cheerfully, studies her spelling words throughout the day at school, hasn’t complained all day.

Ah, I need to soak that one in a minute. I think a child as free-spirited as my Britton really does secretly thrive on having understood limitations and outlines rules.

Who knew? 

Had a good bottle-feeding front-porch-swinging-time with my little niece today too. Always puts a little spunk in my step!
 
Why can’t my lips be that pink?
 

9 weeks old!

Love dressing up my baby doll. I yank those onesies off so fast it’ll make your head spin. Before my sister can shake up a bottle, I have her in a dress, pink knit cardigan, hair bows and knit booties. Pow!


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