And I am finding there are lots I can’t Google! Last year when Rebecca asked me “Mom, what’s a period? I think I know, but what is it anyway?” (She is 9!) I literally tossed her a book that I had recently picked up called The Care and Keeping of You (an American Girl book) tossed it at her and said “Here, read this and then come to me with any questions!” I really did that. I was totally and completely unprepared. I can’t believe I did that, but hey it was better than “Go ask your father!” I really should have been prepared but I wasn’t.
She knew all about it already thanks to Evangelina. THANK GOD! Usually I would not want her getting information from anyone but me. But the topic came up at school and Rebecca, naturally, wanted to know what a period was. I was not there and so she did not have the option of asking me. (THANK GOD!!!) Evangelina has a 17 year old sister and naturally knows more about such stuff and explained it all to Rebecca beautifully. I was truly impressed. So much so that I actually thanked Eva’s mother! Rebecca was not grossed out or scared. She was very well informed. I can not take any of the credit. None at all. Next time won’t be so easy and I do need to be better prepared to tackle all the questions that are due to come my way. I am so glad that Rebecca is my only girl and I will never have to do this part of parenting again. With the boys I will indeed say “Go ask your father!”
The other day we were talking about death. I am not entirely sure how the topic came up but it did. And it does from time to time. It is only natural. It is natural for them to be curious about it and natural for them to want to talk about it. Somehow we came to the topic of me dying. I told them I wanted my ashes scattered in the Mediterranean off the coast of Cannes. It is my absolute most favorite place in the world. Rebecca asked why I wouldn’t want to be buried. I told her all the worms and bugs down in the ground would scare me. I told her that headstones and funeral arrangements were very expensive and that instead of that I would pay for them to fly out to Cannes with their families and throw my ashes off a nice big yacht. Rebecca thought about all of that for a second and seemed to like the idea much better as well. Of course she would!
I caught sight of Christopher through the rear view mirror and saw such a sad look on his face. I asked him what was wrong and if he was saddened by the conversation. He said no. He said that he did not want to put my ashes in the ocean that he wanted to keep them and keep them in his room so he could be with me and I could be with him while he falls asleep at night. This kid kills me. (Pun not intended.) Of course he doesn’t want to scatter my ashes. He is 7 years old and he wants and needs his Mama. I told him that when I do die he will be an old man and he will have children and maybe even grandchildren of his own. He won’t want me, his mother in his bedroom, especially at night. “Trust me on this!” I told him. He thought about it for a second of two and seemed to agree with me. Then he said he would put my ashes in the living room. I was just so touched.
Rebecca then piped up with one of her very large, very breathy, breathy dramatic “that’s not fairrrrrrrr!” I know she would have preferred a trip to the Cote d’Azure but in all fairness if Christopher gets some of my ashes then the other two should as well. I divided myself up and everyone seemed happy. For the moment.
The conversation was dropped and we moved on to something else.
Then the night before last Rebecca came downstairs ever so sad. It was evident that she had been crying. It was 11:30 and well past her bedtime. I asked her what was wrong and she couldn’t tell me. Eventually it came out that she was scared that I was going to die and leave her. I am sure this stemmed from our conversation the other day in the car. I calmed her down and dried her tears. I told her that I would not die. Not for a very, very long time. I told her that she would be so old when I do eventually kick the bucket that she would forget who I am. She laughed a little at that. I got her back to bed.
I remember not being able to fall asleep at night worried about my parents. I worried that they would get in a car crash or in a plane crash and that I would never see them again. I was (am) an only child and I wondered who would take care of me.
I wondered if I should not have made that promise though. I mean I can not really make a promise like that. All sorts of things can happen. The likelihood of my leading a long and healthy life is great, but anything can happen.
This parenting thing is getting harder with age. The physically demanding days of infancy and babyhood are behind me. Those I was able to handle pretty well. This new stuff is a good bit harder and I am finding that not only I do not have all the answers but I don’t even come close to being able to tackle some of them!