Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Kids

We talked to the kids last night about Daddy being sick. I did most of the talking and tried to keep it light and brief. We talked to Kevin alone first, since he's older and his level of understanding is so far ahead of the other kids. He had a look of horror on his face when I used the word "cancer." He apparently thought cancer was always incurable. We told him that's not the case and that we have every reason to believe that Dad is going to get through this and be okay, that he's a strong guy and we're a strong family, and we'll get through this. Out of all the kids, Kevin is the only one who asked me if Michael is going to die. I told him that we're all going to die some day, but there's no reason to think that Michael is going to die anytime soon.

Man, these are just really hard things to talk about with your kids.

The second phase of the conversation was for Joey and the twins (Lilah's really too young to have any grasp of this, although she was in the room.) As soon as we told Joey we wanted to talk, he got scared and covered his ears because he was afraid of what we were going to tell him. He's so sensitive and such a worrier. I wanted to do it quickly - like ripping a bandaid off, you know? I just told them very matter of factly "The bad news is that Daddy is sick. The good news is that he's going to take some medicine for a few weeks and then have an operation - sort of like Finn had - to help him get better." Joey took it pretty well, but if I know him like I think I do, it's on his mind even if he seems like he's forgotten about it. I really don't think any of it registered much with the girls. To them, "sick" means you have a cold and you drink Sudafed out of a little cup.

Anyway, it's a relief to have it out in the open with the kids. It's been really difficult to try to keep up this front with them. I sent emails out to the boys' teachers this morning making them aware of what's going on. I just don't know how or if any of this might affect the boys at school, and I thought their teachers should be aware of what they're dealing with. All of them responded to me very quickly with words of caring and concern for the boys and our whole family, and Joey's teacher even offered to babysit if we need it!


Liz said...

I can imagine how hard it was to approach this... it's just not one of those things that they write about in parenting books, is it?

You done good, Mama!

Anonymous said...

Michael is going to be okay, he will recover successfully from this dis-ease and will be enjoying amazing times with his loving family, you will see…

Tara Marie said...

I can imagine what a difficult thing it was to talk to the children, but I think you both did the right thing by explaining it to them and helping them understand.

My thoughts and prayers will be focused on your family and Michael as he begins this journey to slay the beast.

All my love,

glathreea said...

I don't know why but this post made me fill up with tears. It must have been so hard,especially on the inside,to have this conversation with your kids. It's so good you guys were honest right away as we know kids sense when something isn't right.

You and Michael are great strong parents and I know Michael will beat this. (((HUGS)))

Alyson (alyny)

grammyof13 said...

Another one of those Mothering jobs that is difficult. However it appears you handled it fine, and now you will be pleasantly surprised how resilent those little folks are.

Keep the faith.