Last week Michelle had a post about the tough questions kids ask. Oddly enough, I’ve had this post drafted for a few weeks, but hadn’t yet been able to bring myself to hit that publish button. Here goes nothing.
If you’ve ever been around a toddler, you know that they ask questions. Jack is no different. He asks A LOT of questions. I’d like to think that I’m fairly patient and that I do a pretty good job of answering his questions as best I can. But every once in a while, he asks a question that just stops me in my tracks. They aren’t difficult questions, but the answers are tough for me.
After Xander was born, Jack grew very interested in brothers and sisters and who had siblings. A typical conversation would be Jack saying that Xander is his brother. Then he would ask if my husband has a sister (Yes, Aunt Debbie) or a brother (No). Then he would ask if I have a sister (Yes, Aunt Heather) and if I have a brother. Here’s where it gets tough. I have a brother but he has never met either of my boys. Never even made a single effort to meet them and I honestly don’t ever foresee that changing. The first time Jack asked the question I was a chicken and didn’t answer. In fact, I’m fairly certain I walked out of the room. I wasn’t prepared to try and explain the situation to my 2 year old. The next time he asked the same question, I answered honestly and said yes and left it at that.
One night Jack stumbled upon our wedding photos. We spent quite a while looking at the pictures and Jack made cute comments (Look 2 Daddies he said when there were two pictures of my husband on one page or squealing with delight when he saw Mickey and Minnie posing with us). Then he started asking about the people he didn’t recognize. There were only 15 people at our wedding and he easily recognized most of them. ”Who dat?” he asked pointing at my mother. This time I was prepared. ”That’s Grandma” was my response. Jack isn’t nearly old enough to understand the strained relationship that I have with my mother. Heck, I don’t think that I’m old enough to understand it. Fortunately Jack was satisfied with the simple response.
Here’s the issue. At some point, these simple answers aren’t going to satisfy my curious young man (or his tiny little clone, for that matter). How do I explain to my kids why I don’t speak to certain members of my family? And what do I do when they get older (like teenagers) and question if it’s ME that is the problem. I’ve already asked and answered that question for myself but how do I do that for my boys? I know that the answers will evolve over time as the boys get older and understand more. But I also know that the questions will get tougher from here on out. For now I guess I’ll just keep it simple and once they start asking deeper questions, I’ll have deeper answers. And boys, I promise to never walk out of the room ever again.
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