Thursday, September 27, 2012

Someone Other Than Me

For the last several weeks, TRex has been questioning life, death, doctors, and God. He continues to find ways to talk about people who have died from heart problems and then ask if it could happen to his sister. He wants to know why doctors won't save everyone, specifically why might they not save DQ someday (afterall, we've told him he need not worry about his sister because mommy and daddy are bringing her to the best doctors, who are doing everything they can do).  He is questioning just how much doctors can do.

In the mix of that, he met a "best friend" this summer who told TRex all about God and how you will live forever if you just believe.  TRex (and DQ after learning from her brother) have begged me to allow them to believe in God so that they can live forever.  "Mommy, please, please let us believe in God. I don't want to die."

I've lost track of the number of times that I've explained that even people who believe in God die and that they can believe whatever they want, but mommy and daddy don't believe in any god. I've told them to ask whatever questions they have, but they don't think I can answer. So, I tell them to talk with their aunt, but they don't want to.

And so my poor little boy is piecing together life and death and religion all at the same time. The other night, after a discussion of hearts wearing out, TRex decided if he dies before me, he's going to let me know if there is a God. And then he said "And if there is no God, I don't know what I'm going to do." Of course, I explained to him that no matter if there is a God or not, he was going to live a good life, full of love, spent doing good work with the people that matter. He seemed to accept that, but he continues to worry.

Considering I've been having these conversations repeatedly over the last several weeks, I wanted to be sure TRex's worries weren't overtaking his schoolwork.  So, Tuesday morning, I met with TRex's new principal and his new teacher. We were there to discuss TRex's anxiety and how it affects school and to develop a plan for him when his worries over his sister became a distraction.

Wonderfully, they told me that TRex is adjusting extremely well and fitting in with the other kids. He is showing none of the signs he has in the past of worrying over his sister at school. But, they were concerned that he is bringing those concerns home to me. He is obviously pushing the worries out of his head in school (a very good distraction), but he still needs to get them out when he feels safe. He feels safe with me. Me.

Then they hit me. They think TRex needs a counselor so he can give his concerns to someone other than me. OTHER THAN ME!

Alarm bells rang out. My mind was racing: How could they want me to pay someone to take my place?  Shouldn't they be happy that my son is comfortable enough to tell me everything?!? Why would they want me to break that special bond between us???? He is my son!!!!

Luckily, I listened to what they said nonetheless. They love that TRex and I have an open dialogue and that he feels comfortable confiding, but experience tells them that TRex will stop coming to me at some point, probably when he needs it most. When I become too overwhelmed or concerned, TRex may hide his feelings to protect me and then he will be all alone. We need to get him comfortable with someone now so that should something happen down the line, TRex will be covered.

I should be grateful that TRex is in a school that cares enough to look out for him now and down the line (his principal offered to speak with him whenever he felt sad or confused or needed reassurance because of his sister).  And I will be grateful someday. But, right now, I don't want to think about the days when my sweet, sweet boy doesn't want to confide in me. I know they are coming, but I'm not ready to let go.

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Having a child with a CHD is like being given an extra sense---the true ability to appreciate life. Each breath, each hug, each meal is a blessing when you've watched your child live off a ventilator, trapped in an ICU bed, being fed through a tube. Each minute is a miracle when you've watched your child almost die and come back to you.
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