I know my kids are growing up. I am reminded of all of the wonderful benefits of such on a daily basis. Spontaneous adventures sans strollers or nap time deadlines, the declining frequency of meltdowns, etc. are a huge plus. Life is so much more free now that we don't need so much 'stuff.'
The downside is that I am suddenly burdened by other 'stuff' in the form of increasingly unavoidable conversations about some of the difficult things in this life. I am much less able to avoid much of what I have worked so hard to shelter them from.
Believe it or not, I have not had to explain divorce to them yet. This week I discovered that a good friend of R's is experiencing his parents' divorce the Summer. Thankfully, I heard of it before the children did, so my husband and I have had the opportunity to talk about how to explain it in a way that reassures our children that they can remain secure in our commitment to one another, but are not judging the people going through it.
I am learning to appreciate the gift of advance preparation. Sometimes I don't get that benefit. For example, this morning, when my ever inquisitive K asked about the necklace I wear almost every day.
"Mom, why do you like to wear that same necklace all the time?" she asked.
"Because it reminds me that Daddy loves me," I responded.
"Why?" she countered.
"He gave it to me the night before our wedding. It always makes me think about that."
"So, did you and Daddy sleep together that night?" she asked.
Whhhhhaaaaaattttttt? Where on Earth did she learn that phrase? Why would she think that? My mind was racing. Then I remembered my friend Holly's advice: No matter what they say...don't freak out. They'll think they can't talk to you about hard stuff.
I collected my senses and realized she did not mean that any other way than the obvious. I mean, really, how could she?
"No, baby, you don't share a bed with another grown up until you are married." I responded cooly (by the grace of God).
"Oh..." she responded, "Why not?"
Here we go again...
"Because, getting to have a spend the night party every night with your best friend is one of the rewards of being married. You have to wait."
Mercifully, that satisfied her and she skipped off.
I never knew that the Extemporaneous Speaking class I took long ago might actually be practical preparation for motherhood.
P.S. It reminded me of this interrogation from K regarding where babies come from some time ago.