We try not to mislead Jack. By that I mean we try not to tell him all the things you hear about parents telling their kids. Things like 'if you keep making that face it'll get stuck that way.' or 'if you swallow apple seeds then apple trees will grow out of your ears.' On the other hand we have no problem telling him about Santa Clause or the magic dust that keeps the monsters away. I suppose it's hypocritical in a way but I guess it's just us wanting him to both be a kid but be educated and realistic at the same time. Mostly, we don't want Jack to be afraid to ask us anything, we don't want any taboo subjects in our house.
After his bath tonight Jack started thinking asking Helen some questions. I heard them talking while I tidied up in the bathroom. He asked her how people die.
"Lots of different ways honey, sometimes it's old age, sometimes it's things like getting squished by a car."
What happens with old age?
"Well when you get really old, eventually your body just, falls apart. Stops working."
Will I die someday?
"Everybody dies eventually. But it's nothing you need to worry about honey, you've got a long long time."
The conversation continued in a similar fashion for a few minutes. When I entered the room Jack was in tears. He told us both that he didn't want to die and that he was scared of his body. Just hearing the conversation was too much to bare, so I went in and told him that he didn't need to worry about it because he was never going to die, never ever. I'm not sure if he really believed me but it calmed him down eventually.
Jack has been thinking about death a lot lately. We don't really know why. We have talked a little about it before, more so recently, death is a part of life so we chose not to avoid discussing it with him when he started asking questions. I suppose everyone must go through a phase where they thinking about the big subjects, I remember when I was a kid I went through a phase where I was afraid to go to sleep for fear that I wouldn't wake up, or that I'd wake up buried alive. I'm just not very happy that Jack seems to be tackling this one at three.
So I guess we've changed our minds about this particular subject... and you know what, to hell with it. Death isn't something that I want Jack to think about, ever. It breaks my heart to think of death being anywhere near Jack, and it's even worse knowing that he's thinking about it in any context either.