April 12, 2014
I don’t think I’m special in my strong belief that acceptable parents should not unload emotional baggage onto their children. This point is one I am especially adamant about with my kids. I want them to be kids; they’ll have enough adult emotional crap to deal with when they reach adulthood. They don’t need mine now! If I am upset and the kids ask why, I tell them the emotion I am feeling (ie, “I am sad but it’s nothing to do with you”) and reassure them that I am ok. I refuse to unload adult problems onto their tiny shoulders as kids have a great knack for personalizing a problem and blaming themselves.
When Aiden became ill, I bawled like a baby. Blubbered. Lots. I had to pull myself together before we took him to the hospital. I’m sure he noticed my bloated reddened eyes, but perhaps he was too lost in his own fear to acknowledge mine. I put up a good front for him. It was only a front. I was a wreck on the inside. Further, when the well-meaning social work/counseling staff interviewed me in Aiden’s room, I told them everything was fine. There was NO WAY I was discussing my conflicting, confusing, dark emotions with them in front of him! All I needed was for him to already be so scared and now feel responsible for upsetting me, too! (By the way, that is something I gave the Endocrinologist feedback about, but I digress).
Now, to my point. Santa brought the boys Kindle Fires for Christmas. Their Kindles are linked to my Amazon account, thus any books I purchase or own can be seen by them on the Cloud. They can choose to download to their specific devices to read. (Had to clean up that list quickly, but I digress again!)
The twins know I have written a book. They know it’s about Diabetes. They have seen the cover and title, “Mommy Can't Fix It”. They have heard me talk about it to people, so they have a general idea about it. Aiden has asked more than once to read it. My book is on my Amazon Cloud drive. Aiden noticed it again two days ago and asked again to read it. But, I can’t. I tell him “no” and that he is too young.
I’m afraid for them to read it, and I don’t know at what age it would be appropriate. I own my emotions; I own my feelings. I am not afraid to share or discuss them with people. However, I am so fearful to allow them to read the book. It is a heavy load to carry.
1. They are too young. I HATED hearing those words from my parents when I was growing up, yet I say the same words to them.
2. I fear they would read about the raw emotions I felt that first year (and still feel sometimes) and would then feel responsible.
3. I do not EVER want them to think I resent them or am mad at them because they developed Type One Diabetes. Ever. It’s not their fault and it sucks. We all just have to deal with it.
4. I do not want them to feel responsible for upsetting me at all.
Already Aiden feels bad that I have to stay up at night or get up frequently to check on them. I do not act like it’s a big deal at all, but he feels bad and personalizes it. Mommy, I wish you could hire someone to check on us so you can sleep? Mommy, why don’t you make Daddy get up and check us? I tell him it’s my job and I’m happy to make sure they are ok in the night. I can always take a nap. What on Earth would he think if he read how emotionally wrecked I was!?!
Perhaps when they’re older and can separate themselves from the emotions I felt about their disease, then they can read it. But, what’s the right age? What will be the deciding factor when I finally say, “Ok. Go for it!” ?
What would you do?