As Long As There’s No Medicine Involved

Sometimes kids can blow you away with the depth of their understanding and sophistication of their thoughts, especially about weighty topics like God or death. Even the little ones can surprise you with their philosophical musings about such things.

But other times, not so much. Sometimes the heavy conversations go in a direction you never would have predicted:

Me: “Sweetie, remember how we’ve been telling you that Grandma is very sick?”

BoyWonder (5) nods.

Me: (Okay, Annie. Don’t scare him.) “Well, her sickness is something called ‘cancer,’ and cancer sometimes makes people so sick that their bodies can’t get better. You’ve probably noticed that Grandma’s sleeping a lot and her body looks different. That’s because her she’s getting ready to go to the next world.”

BW: “You means she’s going to DIE?”

Me: (Wow, okay. Straight to the facts here.) “Yes, sweetie, she’s going to die.”

BW: “Is she going to get shot?”

Me: (Huh?? Well, yeah. Probably normal for a 5-year-old to equate getting shot with dying.) “No, she’s not going to get shot. Her body will just stop working. And that makes us sad because we’re going to miss her, but she’s going to be so happy because she gets to go to the next world. She gets to be closer to God and see all the people she’s loved that have already died. It’s like she gets to go to a big, fun party.”

BW: “Am I going to die, too?”

Me: (Aw, sweetness. Totally normal question.) “No, no, no. You don’t have to worry about that for a long, long time.”

BW: “Does it hurt to die?”

Me: (Good question, kiddo.) “That’s a good question. Grandma’s cancer hurts her, but she has some very strong medicine that’s taking all her pain away.”

BW: “What?! MEDICINE?! I don’t want to take medicine!!!”

Me: “You don’t have to take medicine, sweetie. And grandma has a patch on her arm, like a band-aid, that puts the medicine into her body, kind of like a shot.” (Oops.)

BW: “A SHOT?! I don’t want a SHOT! I don’t want ANY medicine!!!”

Me: (Well, crap. Nice going, Annie.) “No, it doesn’t hurt her, honey. It’s just like wearing a band-aid. And she has little pills that she swallows, too.” (OMG, what is wrong with you, woman?? Just leave it at band-aid!)

BW: “Pills?! NO! Medicine is GROSS!”

Me: (Come on, Annie, somehow make medicine sound better.) “Honey, the medicine helps Grandma feel better. It takes away her pain. And it doesn’t taste yucky.”


Me: “Sweetie, you don’t have to take any medicine.”


Me: “You don’t have to take medicine!”


Me: (Deep breath.) “You’ve made that perfectly clear. But seriously, sweetie, YOU DON’T HAVE TO TAKE ANY MEDICINE. Now go to sleep.”

So, yeah. That went well.

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Annie writes about life, motherhood, world issues, beautiful places, and anything else that tickles her brain. On good days, she enjoys juggling life with her husband and homeschooling her children. On bad days, she binges on chocolate chips and dreams of traveling the world alone.

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