Yesterday, while driving by a cemetery, Miss B asked about the flowers and headstones. She wanted to know about that place. She thought it looked pretty. I usually have a sort of "open" policy when it comes to telling her stuff. I try to be as honest as possible, while keeping things on a level her four year old brain can comprehend. This one gave me pause.
This past spring, right before Easter, a friend of mine and her five year old son died tragically in a house fire. While we didn't take Miss B to the viewing or funeral, I couldn't hide my sadness in those days. I wasn't sure what to explain to her, but I knew she would be asking about her friend, when she would see him and play with him. Explaining death to someone so young is difficult. They don't really understand.
Ever since then, Miss be has sort of had this - I don't know if fascination is the right word - but she frequently asks if people are dead or are going to die. I'll say "don't let your brother get that, he might choke on it" and sometimes she responds with, "and then he'll die?"
After a few minutes, I decided to stick with my honest is best policy and I explained to her what that place was. She was very quite for a long time and didn't say anything else about it. It's times like these I really wish I could hear her inner dialogue and know what she is thinking.
If there was ever a need for an instruction manual on parenting, I think it would be for this.