Monday, September 15, 2008

The Question I've Been Dreading

There are a few questions that I've been expecting would come from my kids eventually. You know the ones. Questions dealing with sex and babies and boy parts and a whole myriad of awkward things. But one that I wasn't sure would be asked, but dreaded it nonetheless, was put to me by my 5 year old Luke.

We were swimming at my mom's house, with Luke and me down by the pool and Jack on the upper deck playing with Indy. Jack was yelling a little because Indy was nipping at him.

"Mom," Luke said. "Just listen to this and then answer. What if Jack was up there and Indy was really mean and biting and biting him and hurting him really bad, and I was down here at the pool and I couldn't swim and I was drowning. Who would you save first?"

Oh. My. Gosh. So I said, "That would never happen. Indy is very nice and you are a great swimmer."

"But who would you save first?" he insisted.

How was I to answer this question? Was it just a boy's overactive imagination asking? Or did he think that my answer would indicate which of them I loved more? Did he need, at that particular time, to feel that he was tops on my list?

And just thinking about the answer to that question caused my mind and heart to do flip flops. A situation as Luke described is unimaginable to me. What would I do if both my boys were in trouble? I guess the only thing I could do is pray to God and do everything possible to save them both, even if I died trying.

But for now, I needed to give this boy an answer that would satisfy him and protect both of my boys (I could see him running to Jack claiming that I would not save him first or didn't love him as much.) So I said, "Well, if I was up there I'd grab Indy by the neck and drag him down here and jump in and save you. And, if was down here I'd jump in and save you and then go up and grab Indy by the neck and drag him away. I'd save you both, because there's nothing I wouldn't or couldn't do for either of you if you needed me."

"O.K.," he said and jumped back into the pool.

I don't know if my answer was the right one. I half expect Luke to bring this up again one day out of the blue. He tends to push his emotions to the side and then spring them on you when you least expect them. But for now I'll continue on the assumption that my answer was the one he was looking for, and I'll pray that I never have to make the decision posed by Luke's question.


Angie @ KEEP BELIEVING said...

Wow,. Give me the sex questions over that one any day.


OhCaptain said...

My greatest fear as a father of daughters is that Aunt Flo is going to give them their first visit when Mom is away...but the question you were job!

Knowing me. I might have answered by explaining risks analysis and completely answered the question over my daughters head to the point she just cried uncle.

If you analyze the situation from a purely risk analysis point of view, you might need to consider the variables of delegation, proximity and probabilities of success. That's if and only if you overcome 5 billion years of evolution and don't just die trying to do it all at once. I'd probably die when my body spontaneous splits in half.

Mrs. G. said...

My kids are teens and they still occasionally ask who I love more. It never ends.

Kellan said...

When I have nightmares, this is always what they are about - how to save two kids at the same time - so frightening to believe you would not be able to save them both!

Take care - Kellan

Anonymous said...

wow. that was a doozy. he really thought about how he was going to word the question, too.

Loth said...

Good answer. And you are quite right - you can practice your responses to the sex/boy parts/death questions in advance. It's the ones that come out of left field like that that trip you up. Well handled!

Beth Cotell said...

Sounds like a great answer! I always have trouble answering those tough ones!

Anonymous said...

Oh my word. Where did that question come from? It would have floored me. Good answer!

Damama T said...

WOW! My heart sank remembering a time when Twig asked me that same thing. Your answer was so much better than my lame, "what on earth made you think of something like that?" and the ensuing swift topic change. Who wants ice cream? was always a great distraction when I didnt' have the answers. I am so impressed with how well you handled it. Great job. Now go start formulating the response for when he revisits it. ;o) xoxoxo