Friday, March 4, 2011

It's the hard-knock life for us!

***Warning: Sad story to follow***
I love to sing that Annie song with my children. Usually we sing it when I am making them perform a cleaning task. The singing makes the work more enjoyable. And of course its poking fun at how good their lives are as well. Sometimes, however life really is hard knocks for a kid. And that just takes all the laugh right of of me.

Yesterday was just such a day. We received news that Dunham's best buddy Will (age 6) from back in Minnesota has been diagnosed with a very aggressive and rare Cancer called Sinonasal Teratocarcinosarcomas. He will under go Chemotherapy multiple times, be isolated for months and then be subjected to a pretty rough surgery to boot. Never have I cried as much in one day as I did yesterday. I cried big heaving sobs. You see Will & Dunn spent almost everyday in each others company between school and play dates. When you spend that much time with someone-elses child they become a little bit yours to. There are pieces of our dear Will dispersed through our everyday. Like when Dunn asks for a sandwich "like Will likes it". Or when Dunn is playing Lego's and sets up a play scenario that Will came up with and he drags me by the hand to come take a look. Wills favorite Koolaid flavor, Bionicle, sword ect...its all documented in Dunns beautiful head. Does that make sense? My heart says it does and its grieving and scared.

I cried so much yesterday that my children were at a loss. I just couldn't stop. And so with wet cheeks and puffy eyes I shared the news with Dunn about Will in the simplest way that I could. The look on my baby boys face was immeasurable sadness. Jon used to work at Children's Hospital and so all of our children know what cancer means and what it looks like on a child. Dunn asked me a few questions about how Will was doing and if he was in pain or did his tummy feel sick yet?. He processed the information and walked away from me with slopped shoulders. About an hour latter as I was making dinner he came and hugged my leg. I picked him up and reassured him that it would be all right because Will was one tough little bugger. Dunn then leaned his forehead against mine (I started crying again) and he said "Mom, I know everything he likes and I can make him feel better".

Ah, yes doll that is true. So true and simple. So we wrote down some ideas and came up with a plan for doing exactly what Will likes cause Dunn knows. And as I laid down to sleep last night with all my children tucked safely in their beds the thought of Dunn knowing was reassuring. Is it odd to be reassured by a 6 year-olds knowledge?

This morning as I sit writing this I am pondering how amazing children are. The natural empathy that a small child posses is enough to light up a very dark corner of the world. I am making a vow today to help my children nurture their friendships even the long distance ones. And to make sure that I put some more effort into nurturing mine too. I am certain that there is nothing nicer than knowing what another person likes and that they know the same about you.


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