Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mixed Blessings

It is flippin' cold here this morning. Wasn't I just complaining of the heat last week? It is amazing to me how quickly the season changes. I knew it couldn't be far off when it started cooling off really nicely at night, even though it was sweltering during the day. But this morning as I took my hubby to work, I could see my breath. It was only about 45 degrees. I expect that I will soon start to see the leaves changing. I do adore autumn.
The changing season seems appropriate as we are entering a new season in our lives. Not only is a new school year about to begin, but a brand new child is expected any day. He is on the forefront of all of our minds around here right now. His presence is felt in almost every conversation. Even the tough ones, about death or sex. Monkey boy has been talking about death with me every night before bed, including why babies die, and Girly has lots of repeated questions about how baby's are made.

A conversation with your kids about sex, prompted by the 3 year olds question about how the baby gets out of mommy's tummy (leading to questions of how it got in there in the first place, and anatomy), can be a little uncomfortable for everyone. My poor 10 year old actually plugged his ears. No kid wants to know that his mother does that kind of thing. Not even me.
It was a very thorough conversation, and once we segued into a more scientific vein (away from talk of his mother's bits), even the 10 year old was able to enter in. We try to be really open with them all, right from toddlerhood, and talk of all aspects of sexuality and reproduction. But this was probably our most in-depth discussion in a long time. It was terrific actually, especially the parts about respect and love and relationship.

Strangely, I almost find the death conversations more difficult right now. Maybe because fetal mortality has been on my mind since conception. The kids ask about Kalila often, she died and was born before both my little ones were even a thought. But they know all about her and look forward to seeing her one day. They talk about that one day far more than is comfortable to me and with such ease. I have a hard time hearing them talk of their own eventual deaths. Death holds no fear for them, they have complete faith in the existence of God and heaven and the perfection of life after death.
I am thankful for that, I hope they keep that faith throughout their lives. But knowing that your loved ones are in the presence of perfect love after they leave this earth, does not mean that those left on earth mourn less.
Even though these conversations can be difficult, I am so very thankful for the privilege of hearing what is going on in their sweet, little brains and sharing those precious, fleeting moments with them. What blessings I receive, when I remember to slow down and be present to them and really listen.

11 comments:

  1. That's wonderful that you are so open with the kiddo's. I hope I can be, too, when the time comes.

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  2. Awww... Being present. Yes.

    Hope you're feeling well...

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  3. I love the innocence and total acceptance of children. They don't question love or doubt it.
    It's great that you are so open with them about sex. I hope I will be. My mom was with me, even though I didn't want her to be at the time.

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  4. you are such an inspiration to me. Your openness and forthrightness with kids shows in their confidence and curiosity.

    Bless you as you head into the final stretch! We can't wait to meet him irl.

    Oh and the weather changed here too. BRRRRRRRRRRR!

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  5. We are quite open about things too. Although that causes my son to say the P and V words in public quite a bit but I am just not a fan of "nicknames" for those things...

    Prayers for these last few days and that you all will have peace when baby does arrive...

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  6. Mixed blessings is a good title for your post. Sending you hot, HOT vibes.

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  7. How wonderful that you guys are so open & present with your children. Our kiddos have been going to visitations & funerals since they were born.. death is a part of life & shouldn't be a scary thing.. especially when heaven is the reward! :)

    We haven't "gone there" with our oldest who is 9 1/2. I am very open to your thoughts & ideas on how to open the conversation about sex & what not.. if you don't mind sharing. :) My folks were very awkward in telling us about everything.. which naturally, added to the awkwardness that a kid feels when parents bring that subject up. I want to do things differently & make my kids feel like they can always come to us with their thoughts & questions.

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  8. Ladybug,
    I will send you an email so we can talk some more, but I highly recommend a book called, The New Speaking of Sex: What Your Children Need to Know and When They Need to Know It (Paperback)
    by Meg Hickling (Author)
    This is the most amazing book on the subject that I have ever read. I love her humourous approach. It is not religious but does broach how to share your beliefs with your kids as well.
    This guide tells you exactly what your kids need to know right from toddlerhood on, and I have found it an immensely helpful guide. I learn stuff every time I pick it up.

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  9. You are my kind of mom. I always say, "If you can't talk about sex with 6 year olds you're not going to be able to talk about it with 16 year olds."

    I can't believe there are only 7 days to go, wow!

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  10. As shay said, you are an inspiration! I struggle with death myself and cannot imagine discussing it with my kids.

    And I'm so going to look for the sex talk book you recommend.

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  11. I had to go through those questions with my two boys when I was pregnant with the girls. I, too, believe in being up front about this stuff. Its all part of life- tell them the truth from the get go.

    I did use a book to help explain and it provided a question/answer section. It was a good book. I am going to have to look for it so I can use it when the girls get older

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