Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Reality of Motherhood

My oldest son Jacob is 4.5. He is a walking, "WHY". Having been a teacher I thought I was well prepared for motherhood....I was SO WRONG. I'm now the mother of 2 delicious boys. My younger son, Sam is 1.5. Both keep me on my toes for very different reasons. I thought that the reality of motherhood would be when I started carrying Cheerios with me wherever I went. The Cheerios phase passed without nearly a mention, except for the plastic Pepperidge farm fish box that too frequently spilled all over the diaper bag or car. However, it still makes me pine for simpler times with my oldest. Honestly, the reality of helping to shape the mind of another human being is downright frightening.

Recently, our neighbor, a dear man, passed away. He was always good for a wonderful story and we were all quite fond of him. DH and I took Jacob to his house to see how he was doing. He was not the vibrant man we so recently knew...instead he was in a hospital bed with tubes and machines puffing and clicking around his bed while he lay half asleep. I'm so glad we went when we did because just a few hours after we left, he passed away died. I'm adamant about saying "died" only because as a teacher I remember being taught that when teaching life stages to young children, Keep it simple and straight forward. Wow, is that ever difficult. Jacob now has 10,000 questions about death, heaven, no mention of hell as of yet thank goodness, and when or why a person dies. We approached this subject a few months back when we discussed the passing of our 12 year old dog Calvin. Jacob was only 6 months when he died but thanks to many photos of them together, he has his own image of him. Anyway, he had many, "WHYs" for that discussion as well. I made it through while trying to keep a good balance of reality as well as not instilling fear in this life cycle. Last night I got the question of all questions....the one that sends you right to the front of the line of Motherhood Reality. Jacob asked me, "Mom, when are you going to die? Are you going to leave me?" Wow, I think I was cleaning the kitchen at the time and immediately I could picture myself actually asking my parents the very same question. I assured him that I wasn't planning on going anywhere anytime soon and that he shouldn't worry. Did I break my own honesty rule? Truth of the matter is I don't know when I'll "go". Tonight he asked me if Nana & Papa, my parents, were going to die soon. Ugh, reality stinks. He just kept the whys coming though...he moved right over to, "Mom, why can't I see my bones? and is my Stomach like a house?" I started into the whole scientific, keep it real, answer and a millisecond later he said, "OK Mom, goodnight." You have to love this age. Yes the "why's" are exhausting but he is so clever it amazes me and I'd hate to be the one to squash it. It's bound to happen at some point...I suppose I'd rather kick reality to the curb and keep the inquisition going.


Jenn said...

Some kids never outgrow the asking 'why?' (I know because I turned into one of them, and continue to drive the non-'why?' people in my life mad.)

Here's to 'why?' I say keep that inquisition going too. What a good mama you are.

tracey said...

How sad yet how sweet. It is so strange when children begin to ponder life (and death) and you're right, being the one who in charge of helping to shape young minds is scary. Sounds to me like you're doing a great job so far!

And, CONGRATS on the new blog! Good on ya girl!!

: ) Tracey @ Picture This

Slouching Mom said...

Jacob and Jack must be in the same developmental phase. Jack has had such a hard time going to sleep of late because when he closes his eyes, he worries that someday he is going to die. And that scares him so much. All I can say in response is that there are so, so many years to come before that happens. And, not surprisingly, my words are not that reassuring to him. Perhaps if I were religious I would be able to soothe him better with talk about the after-life, but I can't do that. I'm just too damn honest.

Vivian said...

Wow, great job on the Blog. Wherever do you find the time as a mother of two inquisitive boys?

I'm sure we will have many, many discussions about death in our home, as if we haven't already. Kids have so much more understanding of the subject and no fear of being blunt. Way to go Jacob.

Looking forward to clicking on the links. Thanks for sharing,