Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Serious Questions

Sometimes there are topics brought up that I don't feel fully prepared to try to explain to my son.  I know as an adult, and more so as a parent, it is necessary, but it still terrifies me that I am going to say something just wrong or scary or....I don't know.  Yesterday there was an incident at Orion's school where his teacher fell down and was hurt.  They ended up having to call an ambulance and take her to the hospital.  Somehow all the preschoolers determined that she was dead and ended up very upset.  She came back later in the afternoon and told the children that she was ok, but the Program Manager still wanted us to be aware of the issue just in case Orion came home and decided to tell us that "Miss Jill died today."  Now, Orion didn't bring it up, and he has talked about things dying or being dead before, but it really made me think about how to properly approach that subject.  In no way do I want to scare him or anything along those lines, and I know he isn't ready to have those kinds of serious talks yet, but I know that some day he will.  I have no idea how to answer those questions.  So far my policy with Orion has always been to be as open and honest as possible.  He is incredibly intelligent and often asks questions and I always try to give him an answer, even if that answer is "I don't know."  I'm sure I'll figure something out, and I'm lucky enough to have an incredibly intelligent parenting partner to help those answers along, but it still terrifies me to know that some day it will come up and I will have to give him an explanation.   He is a bright, happy, beautiful little boy and I never want that to change, but I also know that I can't shelter him from the harsh realities of the world no matter how desperately I want to.  I just hope that I can find the right words to say to give him comfort and knowledge in a way that gives him confidence and a positive explanation of life.   If only 42 really was the answer to life, the universe, and everything.
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