The honesty of a five year old…

by Kathy on March 2, 2009 · 14 comments

in Bob, Healing, Loss, Molly, Sean

Tonight Bob, Sean and I went out for dinner to one of our favorite neighborhood burger joints. As we were finishing our meal a new friend, that I met last month at a book club meeting, and her family walked in. Before we left, we went over to say “hello.” I had never met my new friend’s family. I introduced her and her family to Bob and Sean and she introduced us to her husband and their two daughters by name. Her younger daughter’s name happens to be Molly. Sean paused for a moment and then said “my Mommy and we had a baby Molly, but she died.”

Bob and I were a bit stunned, though it isn’t the first time Sean has been so honest when faced with a situation such as this, where we have met another Molly or the question of whether or not he has any siblings has been raised by a relative stranger. I think I said something to my new friend and her family about our son being very honest. I probably should have said something else to explain what Sean was referring too, but I could tell my friend and her family were uncomfortable and I wasn’t sure what to say, especially in front of their two young children. I will likely follow up with my friend at some point to tell her a bit about our daughter, so she isn’t left wondering what Sean was talking about. This friend is someone that I believe I will develop more of a relationship with in the future, so I certainly think she deserves to know.

After we left the restaurant Bob said that he thought we might want to talk with Sean about not sharing things like that when we first meet people. I totally understood his point, however I replied that I appreciate Sean’s honesty and wish I had the nerve to say things like that sometimes. I often don’t mention Molly to strangers or new friends, when given the opportunity. I told Bob that I was afraid if we asked Sean not to talk about his baby sister like that, that he might not feel comfortable talking about her anymore. If we tried to explain that saying things like that might make people uneasy, it could be confusing to Sean and make what has happened with Molly more complex than I think it should be for a five year old. Bob agreed that at this point we should probably not revisit the experience we had with Sean tonight, as he has likely forgotten about it.

I think as Sean gets older and he understands what happened with Molly on different levels we may choose to discuss when it is appropriate to talk about his sister and with whom it is best to share with. However, for now I think it is healthiest to let Sean talk about Molly whenever and however he feels comfortable doing so. I appreciate the honesty of our five year old and though tonight’s experience may not have been easy for the adults involved, I believe it was good for Sean to be able to tell some new friends about his baby sister in Heaven.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Fertilized March 2, 2009 at 10:33 pm

How do you get so wise. I am so glad that I have part of your wisdom in my life.

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2 Kristie March 2, 2009 at 11:22 pm

So sweet. I agree with you. Sean should get to talk about his baby Molly whenever and to whom ever he wants, (((HUGS)))

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3 Jess March 2, 2009 at 11:49 pm

I’m with you…let Sean talk, and if further explanation is needed, you can step in and help new friends understand.

I’m with Sean. I’m the kid that tells all. I’m practically a walking billboard for open adoption and IVF. My husband hates that! lol

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4 k@lakly March 3, 2009 at 12:37 am

I think Sean should be able to talk about her whenever and whereevnr he wants or needs to. It’s other people who ned to adjust, not him. I hate that people get so uncomfortable talking about death or loss, especially of a child, but you know what. It’s part of life, our life, and they’ll just have to figure out how not to be uncomfortable. So will we:)I guess.
xxoo

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5 k@lakly March 3, 2009 at 12:37 am

I think Sean should be able to talk about her whenever and whereevnr he wants or needs to. It’s other people who ned to adjust, not him. I hate that people get so uncomfortable talking about death or loss, especially of a child, but you know what. It’s part of life, our life, and they’ll just have to figure out how not to be uncomfortable. So will we:)I guess.
xxoo

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6 Seraphim March 3, 2009 at 2:23 am

As a sibling, who went through a lifetime of explaining the all too fleeting life and death of my baby brother, I think it is important Sean gets to share his story of his sister wherever, and whenever he wants or needs too. .He is blessed to have such wonderful parents.

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7 Lori March 3, 2009 at 7:00 am

There is nothing more beautiful (or sometimes uncomfortable) than the honesty of a child. In any other situation, he would have said I have a sister named Molly also, and he did just that! I think that how you handled it is perfect!

Sometimes I wish I could be as honest as my children.

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8 T-Mommy March 3, 2009 at 9:13 am

I really really love how Sean has been processing all that you and your family have been through. His honesty and “trasparency” is something to cherish.

I am sure as the time goes by you will not need to explain anything to him, he is so thoughtful that he will know when it is time to share about Molly and when not to.

Sometimes, our worries are based on making others feel confortable and I totally get it, but in situations like these I believe that YOU and your family go first, and talk about Molly is, in my humble opinion, the right thing as she is part of the family.

Once in a blue moon we need to put ourselves first and it is OK to do so!

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9 Natalie March 3, 2009 at 11:51 am

I totally agree with your decision to not make him worry about what he’s saying. I wish we could all approach it as simply as that. Even if it makes other people uncomfortable.

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10 Cara March 3, 2009 at 7:20 pm

Oh Yes – let that boy talk! I cannot count the number of people that have heard of Emma’s death through our children’s words. They look at me for an explanation, but I just smile. I love that our living children would never think to leave out or angel babies.

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11 JuliaS March 4, 2009 at 11:32 am

My oldest daughter use to tell everyone she met that she was my 5th baby and that the others “got dieded” (She was very little at time.) While on the one hand I was pleased she knew and remembered and it was significant to her, on the other hand, telling everyone she met what amounted in a way to my medical history was a little too much information.

Your son is absolutely precious and I don’t think there is anything wrong with his response. He meets another Molly – of course he is going to mention his Molly. Molly deserves to be remembered, should be remembered and talked about – who better to do that than the dear older brother who loves her?

{{hugs}}

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12 Tash March 4, 2009 at 2:17 pm

I could not agree with you more. This is a tough enough concept for a little one to wrap his head around — no need to add embarrassment or uncomfortableness to the mix.

And I also wish I had Bella’s outspokenness at times. Oh to be uninhibited!

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13 Photogrl March 4, 2009 at 7:42 pm

Oh, to be so honest, and not feel guilty about it.

I think you handled it just right.

((HUGS))

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14 motheringmymiraclemultiples March 5, 2009 at 9:46 am

wisdom beyond his years, what a beautiful soul….

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