No one told me that the age of four is the age of we-will-try-to-talk-you-out-of-going-to-bed-every-single-night.
The latest bedtime avoidance technique is called Three Million Questions.
I have explained away why we do not have chicken on Thanksgiving, why it does not snow in the summer and why I can’t make the snow come RIGHT. NOW. MOMMY.
Once heavy heads sink to pillows and blankets are gratefully tucked, they whisper questions about their sister.
Where is she now?
How did she get there?
How long will she be gone?
How long after that?
I wish I had the answers.
Somehow, I never received my copy of The Perfect Way to Explain Death to Hopeful Four Year-Old Eyes.
Trying to steady my voice I answer as best I can, hoping someone asks me something easy next, like how babies are made.
And in the pause of my reply I remind myself how much I need to teach them about life, to lessen the burden of death.
I want them to know how to leap.
How to run with the sun at your back.
How to jump but not too high.
How to brace yourself so the ground cradles your fall.
How to brush at grass-stained knees, crunch the leaves in your hair
and carry your scars gracefully.
Because they are yours.
Wearing them is part of who you are…
Happy Veterans Day to my husband and all of the men and women who have served our country. You are amazing examples of what it means to persevere.
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beautiful lover ,
I like ypur picture. thay are so cute.
thanks for share
This was so amazing, the pictures, the words to bring them to life, the questions that are so hard to answer. You are such a strong and wise woman. Your family is so lucky to have your heart.
Some questions are a lot easier to answer that others. This is beautiful. You are a remarkable mother. xoxo
Its obvious when we know but until my dad told me I never put my hands out to stop mysef falling, I used to just tipple over like a plank of wood
Beautifully written, and happy Veteran’s day to your husband . . . I carry my scars proudly — with a tiny reminder to learn from them. I hope my kids do the same.
The very best way to carry our scars.
Beautifully written, Jessica. I love and felt it all. Happy Veterans Day to you and your husband.
“wear your scars gratefully because they are part of you, they are who you are” – very touching! Beautiful post!
This is the link to the post. The book is called Waterbugs & Dragonflies: explaining death to young children by Doris Stickney.
I hope it helps. Take care. xoxo
Sarcasm Goddess says
You truly have a beautiful way with words! Happy (late) Veterans day to your hubs!
Thanks so much.
I really loved this post. Beautifully stated. And that last photo: PERFECT
Practical Parenting says
This is beautiful. There is no perfect way to explain something so overwhelming and difficult to comprehend. They will always have questions. All you can do is keep answering, and keep enjoying those wonderful moments with them along the way. Well done, my friend.
Natalie @MamaTrack says
What a lovely post. You are so right. And they are so beautiful. In every way.
This is so beautiful. And I used to do this to my mom, but not at age four. I was around seven and I thought I was so brilliant to hop out of bed, find her and ask her questions like, “How do flowers grow?” I tired of it fast, though..
Happy Veteran’s Day to your wonderful husband. You teach your babies so much about life every day, and I am confident you are helping them understand about Hadley as much as they can at each of the different stages of their own lives.
I can only hope I am, thank you for your support as always.
Nicole Rivera says
This post was so well written and so expressive. Thank you for sharing your emotions, your moments and your husband with all of us. He served and I am forever grateful for it, but I am also grateful for your family’s sacrifice when he did – just as brave, if you ask me.
Angie @ The Little Mumma says
Our scars, though they may fade, are indelible in what they leave behind, in the ways that they change us. Of course, not everyone wears their scars with such grace.
You? Are amazing. And those kids? Are crazy-lucky to call you Mom.
Wow, thank you so much Angie.
julie gardner says
I loved this entire post, but this is my favorite line:
“I need to teach them about life, to lessen the burden of death.”
It made me think of the connection between the word “lessen” and “lesson”;
the challenge of teaching our children in ways that ease the pain and maximize the joys…while still being honest with them.
Truths can be hard or beautiful or both.
Just like finding the right words.
Persevere is a word that’s underused. Thank you.
so well said! thanks to your hubby for his service:)
It is so hard to explain the unexplainable (especially to 4 year olds who want snow in the summer).
There is a story about dragonflys and waterbugs which I have started to tell my 2 4 year olds. The cliff notes version is that a group of waterbugs live under water. Every once in awhile they notice one in the group going up above the water. The group agree that if they ever go up above the water they will come tell the others. Finally, the main character waterbug goes up above the water. He becomes a dragonfly and cannot return to under the water to tell the other water bugs what happened to him. I wrote a longer version of this in a post. I can send you the link to the post or the book if you are interested.
I have no clue if this story makes any sense to 4 year olds but I like it. Sorry for such a long comment!
Happy Veterans day to your husband!! Hope you all have a good weekend. Take care.
Lanie, if you have the link to the post that would be great. I’m really struggling with how to answer their questions right now. Thanks so much.
Nicole Rivera says
This book sounds wonderful! What is the title?
Not a Perfect Mom says
oh the questions…how they get me…
A couple of days ago my oldest asked if people will be mean to Brooke because she has Down Syndrome…and if we could help her learn faster…
Oh so tough, my kids are so much younger than their sister with autism that I haven’t gotten many questions about her yet. I have had a few about different things that she does but they don’t understand the word autism yet, I’m sure that day is coming.
Happy Veteran’s day! Hope you had a wonderful day!
Brautiful beautiful post! And yes many many thanks to your husband.
Absolutely beautiful Jessica, I can visualize everything you write about as if I’m in the moment with you. Blessings to Mark
What a beautiful post! Happy Veterans’ Day to you and your family!!
Beautiful, Jessica, as always!
Amy ~ Eat. Live. Laugh. Shop. says
And Happy Veteran’s Day to your husband!!!!! Truly, every day should be Veteran’s Day!
This is beautiful, Jessica — I love that the scars are part of who you are…
It tugs at my heart.
And Happy Veteran’s Day to your husband.
Such difficult things to discuss with children but based on the smiles on their faces, you are doing one heck of a job.
Please tell you husband thank you for his service.
What difficult questions.
You have such a beautiful heart, my friend.
Your family is so lucky to have you, sweet friend. You don’t have to have all the answers and you don’t have to show them what to do. By watching you, and having you, they will turn out just fine.
I can’t imagine how hard that is. Know that your consistent love and support will help them understand in time. And that your ability to keep seeing the good in life, will help them see it too. You have a wonderful family! Thanks for posting this.
JDaniel4's Mom says
I am grateful for the work your husband and others have done for our country. Finding joy in life and leaves is such fun!
Galit Breen says
This is stunning, as always.
Happy Veteran’s day to your husband!
Beautiful my dear friend. Love you. Happy Veteran’s Day to your sweet husband. xoxo