Questions Over Dinner

Last night, as my family and I were sitting down to dinner, my eldest suddenly asked "Why does Aunt Lyn still treat me like I'm little?"

I wasn't expecting that question.  However, Lyn is her own answer.  I explained to my eldest that "Aunt Lyn's brain is damaged and the damage is growing.  To Aunt Lyn, there's a part of her brain that remembers how she treated you when you were younger.  That's the you that she loves and knows.  She isn't treating you like you're younger to insult you.  She treats you  like this because that's all she knows how to do."

My eldest was wading through a day's worth of consequences for poor choices and really didn't get to see or speak to Mom and Lyn when I was having our weekly Skype conversation.  When my eldest came in to tell me that one task was done and ask what was the next chore on the list, Lyn clued in very quickly who I was talking to off camera.  She called out a sweet "Hello" to my child.  That's all she did.  However, puberty has kicked in and my child was already feeling sensitive because both my husband and I had to lay down the law.  I really don't think the issue is with Lyn in this case; but with my child who is trying to grow and claim more independence.

After my explanation, my eldest asked for confirmation with "Aunt Lyn's brain is dying, right?"  I confirmed that, essentially, that's the case.  My youngest nearly panicked.  "Aunt Lyn's dying?!"  It was the first time my youngest had considered that as a possibility.  My youngest is only now clueing into the permanence of death and is very focused on that as a topic because of our dog's recent death.  I had to adjust my answers and quickly to calm my youngest down.  I switched to reminding my youngest that "Aunt Lyn's brain works differently than yours does and hers is not working as well as it used to work.  Yes, her brain is dying.  But!  She's not dying today and we still have time to see her more."  "Next week?  Next month?"  my youngest queried.  "Aunt Lyn's not going to die until you're older.  You don't need to worry right now."

My youngest looked to my eldest for confirmation.  My eldest nodded sagely and supported my statements with "Aunt Lyn's OK today.  She's not going to die for a couple of years."  My youngest accepted this assessment and returned to the food on the plate.

I'm never sure what's going to be asked over dinner.  I'm just glad a crisis was averted.


  1. As I begin my day with a lump in my throat I find it difficult to think of that one as getting older so quickly. I love both them both so very much


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