James: Mommy, who's in heaven?
Me (carefully): Well, there are angels and God is there and --
James interrupts: No, like Ulku's daddy. (My friend whose father has passed away)
Me: Yes, people that have died are in heaven, too.
James: ... I don't want to go to heaven ...
Me: That's ok, buddy. It's going to wonderful and happy and fun there, but you don't have to think about that for a long, long time.
James: But I want to be here with you. In our house! For a long, long time.
Me: I'll always be with you, buddy. Always, always.
James (grins): Always!
Jim and I have been trying to be aware of the age of fears (usually from 3-5 years old). Not allowing scary stuff on TV, even seemingly benign "tickle monsters" and the like. But a lot of the fearfulness, I'm finding, is simply James learning about the world around him. And the world is scary.
The lack of light at night is scary.
The reason we have to wear seat belts is scary. (Another one that was hard to explain.)
The other reasons that we have policemen, apart from the simple "they're here to help!"
The thought of dying is scary.
So as his questions are going deeper, my answers have to be truthful. And I can't pretend for him any longer that there are people who don't follow the laws. Or that car accidents happen every day.
This is hard, you guys! Of course I don't go all unabridged into every subject; it must still be age appropriate, but he's not satisfied with the comfy answers that I could provide even just a few months ago.
Older moms have told me that as your children get older, it's less physically demanding and much more emotionally and mentally taxing. Uh, yea! And he's not even four.
Praying for grace and wisdom as I try to impart the same to my babes...