So, it was recently brought to my attention by the other household, that the Redheaded Rose was concerned and confused regarding my surgery and was under the impression that I might die. In an effort to give credit where it is due, they did a fine job of explaining things to her and advised me as such, so I have no beefs. Just to clarify. RR and I have had the conversation about the surgery and what it means MANY times. But, just as with an adult, things pop back into your head.
So, I decided to ask her about it. She said, "Mommy, are you going to die?"
I knew she had asked that question, but it was VERY hard to hear it coming from your kids lips. I got a little teary, I won't lie. I was trying to figure out a way to explain it to her in a way that she would understand, and that went along with my beliefs and understanding about death.
We discussed how everything dies, which panicked her. We talked about how it doesn't have to be sad, which she didn't believe. We talked about how having surgery didn't mean that you died, she wasn't convinced.
Finally I had a flash,"RR - what happens in the spring time? What's happening with plants in the spring time?"
She kinda looked at me funny. She said she knew that flowers started to grow. And vegetables and trees. And it got warmer and it was nice outside. All this is true. So I compared myself to an apple tree (I have no idea why, just go with it). I told her that when apple trees start out in the spring they are just a big stick in the ground. But by the end of spring they are covered in leaves. And by summer, there are apples growing on them. And by early fall, those apples are ready to pick and eat, and the seeds inside those apples could grow more trees. And then, in the fall, the trees turn pretty colors, colors they don't usually show. And then, in the winter, the trees lose all their leaves. So while the big stick in the ground isn't dead - every year it gets new leaves, a new life. (Yup, reference to reincarnation).
Then I told her that's kinda how people are. They start out every year as baby trees, grow a bit bigger each year, leaves get added, they grow apples (like having children, I said), and then when the apples are all gone from the tree, they have a wonderful season of beautiful colors, and then all the leaves fall off and they pass into winter.
"So, what season am I, Mommy?" (Again, with the tears)
"You my baby girl are in the early spring. You are just a baby tree."
"What season are you Mommy?"
"I'm probably in the early summer, when the apples are just starting to grow."
"What season is Great Grandma?"
".....Great Grandma is in late fall. Her leaves are turning pretty colors. She's starting to lose some of her leaves, and soon it will be time for Great Grandma to have her Winter."
I got worried at this point that it was too much, and maybe telling her that her very elderly Great Grandmother may at some point in the next several years die, might have been a bit much. But that kiddo of mine....
"Great Grandma was a very pretty tree, Mommy. She'll have a nice winter." (I'm not making this up. I had to like....keep myself from bawling in the car and crashing us into a freaking....well, tree.)
I have the smartest kid on the planet. I swear. I thought I would share my tree story because it worked so well for Autumn. She's very perceptive, and extremely empathic. I just love her to pieces. I'm glad she's my Apple.