Thursday, March 21, 2013

Caleb's "tact"

I have talked to many of my close friends and family about this before but thought I would document here, as well.  Caleb has always been very open and "matter of fact" when it comes to talking about hard things.  With all of the many situations we have dealt with in our family, Chris and I have always felt it is best to be open and honest with our kids.  This is probably a big part of the reason for Caleb's "openness".  On the other hand, he is too young to understand that sometimes certain things make others uncomfortable so, while things aren't bad to talk about, sometimes you SHOULD "filter".
We have had many, many of these situations, but here is the most recent.

Yesterday Caleb had some outpatient surgery on his foot.  While the Nurse is there prepping him she is trying to make him feel comfortable by carrying on a conversation.  Eventually comes the question that always makes Chris and I cringe when asked of Caleb.
Nurse: "Do you have any Brothers and Sisters?"
Caleb: (Silence as he is trying to decide if he should "filter".)
Me:  "He has a big Brother."
Nurse: "Oh ... No girls huh?"
Caleb: "We had one."
Nurse: (Looks at me with a confused look on her face.)
Caleb: "My Sister died."

Then we end up having to go through the normal reassurance that its ok she asked, it doesn't make us sad to talk about her, how old was she, how did she die, etc.
You would think we were out of the woods then, right?  Nope!  Not with Caleb.

Nurse: "You are so brave.  I bet your Brother wouldn't be this brave.  Is he staying with Grandma while you are here this morning?"
Caleb: "Nope.  My Grandma passed away."  (Yes, the 6 yr old says "passed away".)
Nurse:  (Silent pause.). "Crap.  I'm not asking anymore questions."

Lets just say it just kept going.
On one hand I am glad that our family is ok to talk about things.  On the other hand, I sometimes worry that Caleb is somewhat calloused towards death.  I guess that could happen when you are 6 and have attended 5 funerals of people close to you - 3 of them in the past 3 months.  Not to mention the fact that he watched the care and decline of both his Grandma and Uncle first hand.
I guess, in a sense, death seems like a normal every day occurrence to him.  Good or bad?  I don't know.  :/

Bless his sweet little heart.  I love him to pieces!

2 comments:

Touche said...

He will get over it--- But I am not sure how long it takes-- I am still struggling.

Lars said...

It's so true. Even our kids play death, surgery, and illness constantly to the point that I feel sad about their exposure to so much of it. Yet they have great faith and compassion.