I know I shared several weeks ago regarding my dad's health and I am happy to report that, after many tests, he does not have cancer. Because he is on dialysis, his health over all is compromised, which made the testing tricky. But the doctor feels 95% sure that the mass in his lung is not malignant.
Just felt like I left you guys hanging with all that intense reflection. It was a big relief to get the news that he is going to be OK.
During all of this I was talking about my dad, a lot. In front of my kids. People would ask how my dad was doing, etc. This did not get past my nine year old and he finally asked what was going on with Papa...
Thankfully, when this conversation went down we were pretty sure that dad wasn't seriously sick. But I explained dialysis and I explained the tests because there was a spot on Papa's lung. I spent more time explaining how Papa's kidneys don't work any more and how dialysis cleanses his system out. When my dad was in the hospital I was honest with both my boys that I was going to see Papa and that Papa was sick. My oldest said, "I don't want Papa to die". I replied, "Honey, I don't either. Papa is sick, and he is in the hospital but he is not about to die".
Carter repeated that statement when I was explaining dad's chronic illness a couple of weeks ago. It just tugs at my heart in such a way that it is so difficult to explain. I want to spare my 9 year old pain, but I want him to know the truth. I want him to know that he can get the truth from me. That I'm not going to overly protect him from life.
I am so not the perfect parent and I could list over and over again the times that I failed my children; but speaking to them honestly about life will always happen. And I hope and pray ( and communicate this often) that they can know I will always tell them the truth. It will be age appropriate, but it will be the truth. And sometimes it's really hard, but that's when I know I am doing something right.
What about you?? If you have kids have you had any tough conversations lately? What about uncomfortable (sex) talks?? That seems to trip a lot of parents up... "Uhhhhhhhhhh".
I feel just as strongly about proper sex education as I do about telling the truth in other life issues. I've written before about talking to kids about sex so I won't repeat myself but, the take away is this.
Even with the most difficult, uncomfortable conversations, your kids deserve the truth. You can even give yourself time and say, "I know this conversation is important to you, and I want to give it the full attention it deserves, can we talk about it later?" And even saying, "Can we talk about this another time" is OK too. Even if you stumble and change the subject, you can always, always go back and say, "You remember that question you asked...I'd like to answer it now."
So go forth and TALK. Honestly and openly with your kids.
Our kids can handle the truth.
You can do it!