I used to always say and think, as a kid, my parents don’t really know anything when the truth was that they really do; otherwise how would I have gotten where I am today in my life. Without their life lessons I know I would not have accomplished most of things I have done thus far. But certainly not everything I know was taught to me by my parents or in school. Most of life’s lessons just come from experience and observation. To this day I am still learning a lot about life and probably will never truly understand what it is all about. All I know is that I have to take things one day at a time, one step at a time. No matter what it takes, I’ve got to move on, keep looking forward and don’t look back on things in the past that I can’t change because what’s done is done.
My plea to everyone….if you don’t already, sit down and talk to your child (ren). I don’t mean about school or other things. I mean REALLY sit down and talk to them, about life. Talk to them about really in depth things. I’m not saying get in to some really deep topics that as children they certainly would not totally grasp at their ages but delve in to some life topics. I bet you will be surprised as to how much these little minds truly understand and grasp.
Take my own children for example. You all know the complexity of our life situation within our family and the struggles we go through day in and day out. Some days are better than others and some we hit even deeper than rock bottom. But those two little kids (semi-adults) of mine are like little sponges. The things they say amaze me, the way they act astounds me or their little mannerisms I just can’t get over. These are the things I never would have thought at their age they would understand nor actually talk about.
Just the other day, again Ian brought up the topic of death. Marci and I have always been open and honest with the kids, to a certain extent. Since last January we have been more apt to discussing death with both Becca and Ian and what it means ET all. So everyone now and again Ian decides he wants to talk about the subject in more depth. Just out of nowhere he will make some sort of little comment that leads in to a conversation I never thought I would have with a child of his age. So all four of us sat in Ian’s room, talked about death (i.e., how you go to heaven, there are family members up there waiting for all of us, how Ian will be able to do all the things he has lost the ability to do here, no more trache, no more meds, etc.). After a few minutes, our precious not so little daughter had to leave the room. She was getting upset about the topic and didn’t want to discuss it any longer. Who can blame her? The discussion ended itself shortly thereafter. Marci and I then went to comfort Becca as well.
But just today, we get a text from Ian’s nurse while they are at school saying Ian wants to talk to us more about death. We get a little more concerned when we hear this because we are not really sure what this means, especially when Ian brings the topic up. He brought that up mainly because of how Becca reacted the other night and wanted to know and understand why she was crying. I guess maybe it goes back to that “twin” connection but they are and hopefully always will be that way. Yes they argue and make each other upset but deep down they truly do care and have a true love for one another as brother and sister. Anyway, it turns out that Ian wants to talk to us more about death because of how Becca reacted not because of what’s going on with him. As he told his nurse, who relayed to us, he is not ready to die. That’s a huge relief for us to hear because we all know that when he feels he is ready he will certainly let us know.
The biggest thing that amazes me about Becca and Ian is how their little minds work. Not just on regular day to day things but about such deep topics like death. Yes they have gone through their fair share of life lessons in a very short amount of time but I would never have thought they would approach us to discuss these sorts of things. I have always felt that I would have to be the one to approach them and ask if they wanted to talk about certain things. That is one of the biggest things I am so proud of my children for; their perception and observation for life. It doesn’t matter if you can get up and run around or if you are confined to having to sit there and not be able to move much. In either case, life goes on all around you and you can’t stop it. Kids are amazing little creatures in their own right and really are smarter than I know I probably give them credit for.
So again, I ask everyone, at some point in time, before they all grow up and become adults, sit down, talk to them, listen to them and hear what they say. I bet you too will be amazed and what they know, realize and understand. Just food for thought.