I’ve been able to fake it pretty well so far, which is good, but as they grow, their questions become so much more complex….and they’re only at 5 and 7!
Over the past few months I’ve made it a point to let my Dublets know that they can talk to me about anything. Anything in the whole world and together we would figure out a solution. I’ve told them it isn’t because I am nosey, or I want to interfere or personally go and solve the problem, I just want to know about it so I could help if they need it. I told them that if I was busy, they just need to say “Mum, I need to talk to you” and I promised I would stop what I was doing and we could go and talk privately. After one of these conversations, Dublet #1 looked at me and said “OK Mummy, can I have a banana?” Good chat.
A few nights ago, Dub and I were watching a movie and I heard her door open. I looked up and she just stood there, blinking. I asked her if she was ok and she said “Mum, I need to talk to you”. So, up I went, with no fuss (which is unusual because I usually complain a LOT when I’m called upstairs again after the third tuck in/kiss/water etc.) and lay down with her. She reminded me that I had said she could talk to me about anything and then proceeded to share about a situation that was bothering her. She explained it all and I felt so happy, it was working! I had told her she could talk to me about anything and here it was! Anything! She was sharing it all with me! I felt so proud of myself. So on top of it! This parenting thing? Pshaw, whatevs, I got this.
Then after I’d finished high-fiving myself, I realised she was quiet. She was looking at me. I looked at her and smiled. She looked at me and said “OK”. I said “OK.”…….oh shit, this is where I “adult”, crap. I don’t know! I had no fucking idea what the “right” thing to say is in this situation. Crap. So, I put on my “grown-up” hat and we talked. We talked about how it made her feel, the other people, possible scenarios, I asked questions and asked her what she thought and together we came up with a plan. I really had to stop and think and consider how to proceed, the best possible direction I could give her. Such a responsibility.
Shit’s hard, man.
I get really nervous when I think about how much more complex the issues will get as she gets older. I won’t have all the answers, I’m sure I won’t, but I’ll try. All I can hope is that she keeps talking to me. I want to make sure they know they can talk to us. About anything in the whole world and if and when they talk to us about something super serious, we need to remember not to lose our shit. Gawd help us all.
I have friends who have lost children, some have died, some are still living but addicted to drugs and some have various other reasons they aren’t in their lives and my heart trembles. I know they’d give anything to go back in time and I remind myself every day how blessed I am to be able to lie down with her and field her hard questions. There is no guarantee that any of us will be here tomorrow. I want to do my best. My best sucks ass sometimes, but I will keep trying. I’ll stumble, I’ll screw up, but I’ll keep showing up. Like a whack-a-mole. It’s my job. And it’s my privilege.