Wednesday, November 3, 2010

{sometimes parenting stinks}

I say that with the utmost love.


I have to consciously keep myself from "helicoptering" the boys. It's pretty much a constant struggle. Especially when I don't just think, but know, their little hurts will feel overwhelming pain. I try to step in and buffer that for them.

Last year when we lost Uncle Gibb, our hearts were broken. Noah "got" it {death} really for the first time. Evan was sad, but clearly did not understand what it truly meant for our family with our time left here on Earth without him. And, because of that we opted not to take Evan, and it was a good decision. It was the first time Noah attended a funeral, and he handled it as well as any of us did.

Noah understands Grandma Mildred's passing and has had a healthy amount of tears and sadness. Evan is beyond devastated. I totally expected a call from school today. He has asked us through spilling tears not to even talk to him about her or mention her name, "it hurts my heart too much."

That brings me to tonight. Family visitation and the viewing. He will adamantly say he is going to school tomorrow and will not be going to the funeral. And, then he will change his mind for a few seconds that he wants to go, and then quickly retract that. This morning, through tears he asked me "what if I change my mind after the funeral?" Although much older when my dad died, it gave me immediate flashbacks. I completely refused to go see my dad at the funeral home. Although encouraged and questioned over and over by family to make certain I would have no regrets, I stood my ground and refused to go. It got as late as you could get on changing my mind and it wasn't until after the funeral home had closed the evening before his service that I decided I HAD to see him and say my goodbye. The funeral home then graciously opened it for me and gave me all the time I needed that night. I am thankful.

I feel like it is clearly his age and tender little heart that I am trying to protect. However, I also do not want to protect so much that it negates the real fact of death from their life. How much shielding is good? or too much?

I don't think I would be wrestling so much if he had not {through sobs nonetheless} questioned me on why he didn't get to say goodbye to her. Well, he did, he just didn't know it. Because of me. Two weeks ago, I took the boys, knowing it would be the last time I would be comfortable in them seeing her. I feel that in some way I cheated them by at least not explaining it better.

I have allowed both boys to talk openly and to the best of my ability have tried to answer their endless questions. I think by trying to protect them as much as I have, I am doing them a huge disservice. Of course, our conversations have not been morbid or scary in nature, but about the true fact of eternity. I suppose I didn't want to see their pain as they said their goodbyes. That was purely for my protection.

So, tonight..I am going to let him take the lead. If he decides to go, even last minute, he will go. If he wants to go to school tomorrow, that's where he will be.

My heart just hurts for them. But, the reality is, life is very painful at times and they need to know how to feel and handle that in a healthy way.


Stacy Carter said...

Your such a great mom! Braxton was 5 when my grandma passed away and I struggled with letting him go because he had so many questions. In the end he didn't go, but probably should have. It's a hard decision. I'll be praying for y'all.

Tonia Hobbs said...

Really tough times. Really tough questions. I REALLY understand the "protecting" and trying to figure out the right time to explain the hard stuff. When I was at the hospital recently in a tough situation with J. Ivey, he was asked a very tough question... after a brief moment of silence his reply was, "I think you just have to be honest." I have things in my life I need to just "be honest" with my kids about. I think I have detoured. . . sorry, Just know I am praying for you and your babies.