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A Brief Conversation About Death and Honesty

Posted Jun 22 2010 10:26am
We had  one of those teaching moments  and to be honest it totally caught me off guard. I'm sure I've mentioned before that my nephew and niece , ages 7 and 6, love to hang out and play with Austin. They shadow him, even when he has to go get his diaper changed or get his meds they follow along to keep him company and "help".

So on Father's Day it was not unusual for them to tag along while I gave Austin his 7PM meds.

Then the questions started.

Kid 1: What's that?

Me: This is his medicine.

Kid 2:  Medicine? For what?

Me: This is for his tummy.

Kid 2: Is he sick?

Me: (Avoiding the loaded question) This medicine helps his tummy feel better.

Kid 2: You know, sometimes babies get sick...(looking concerned)

Kid 1: Yeah and you know what? Sometimes sick babies die.

This is where I realize I have totally underestimated their intelligence on the subject of Austin. Then I started wishing we weren't having this particular conversation at this very moment, without their parents present. But in the absence of any other adult approaching to save me, I decide that honesty is the best policy.

Me: Yes, sometimes sick babies die and that's sad . But not THIS baby.

Pause.

Kid 1: Good.

Kid 2: Yay Austin!

Whew! Yes, indeed. Good.

I have no idea where that line of questioning came from, but hopefully it (Austin dying) isn't something they will continue to be concerned about.  I'm so glad they accepted my on-the-spot answer and  that we ended on a happy note. I'll leave the rest of the discussion to their parents.


Thanks for peeking,

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