Bethie is obsessed with death. We talk about it all the time. Not intentionally, but it seems to come up. Tonight, Dan said to the twins, "You can't keep waking your mother up so many times during the night because you're going to kill her". Bethie replied, "Is she ninety-nine, and is her birthday tomorrow?". Because, according to Bethie, only people who are 100 years old die.
My friend's father died. He was far too young. But we allowed Bethie to believe that he was 100 years old. She needed the security of knowing that no one she knows is going to die.
Then Melissa died. She was only 28. Again, we allowed Bethie to think that Melissa was 100.
The mother of a little girl in her class died. We reassured Bethie that this woman was sooooo much older than I am. Because Bethie lies in her bed and worries. I didn't want my child worrying about my death.
I thought I was doing the right thing. I thought I was protecting my five year old girl. Saving her from her own worries. I thought that it didn't matter if I allowed Bethie to believe that people have to be 100 years old before they die.
The kindergarten teacher sent a note home. There is a little boy in the twinnies' class that has just been diagnosed with a tumor on his brain stem. My heart aches for this little boy, and for his family, and especially for his mother. I can't even begin to imagine what this family is going through. His mother is at the Children's Hospital praying for the life of her child. And I am not a good enough writer to convey my sorrow.
All I know is that I don't want to explain to my daughter that children can die, too.