Caramelized Sugar

Yesterday as I was blissfully sipping a cup of hot tea and browsing images of lovely gardens on Pinterest, Sully ran up to me and broke the silence with his sugary voice.  I expected something completely silly, including the words toot, fart, butt-crack, poop.  But instead what I heard was, "Mom, will I die?" 


My mouth opened and the word just lurched out.  As I heard myself say it I wondered where my heart went.  What followed was a conversation no longer than five minutes or so.  In that time I chose my words very carefully and simply.  Sadly, I found myself well versed due to the handful of articles I've read recently relating to Sandy Hook on how to talk to young children about death.  I explained in ways that you can only explain to a three year old that most people live a very long life.  I reassured him as best as I could that he would too.

In hindsight, I'm okay with my quick, one-word answer to such a scary question.  I'm also grateful that we had a few extra minutes to continue an open, honest conversation cotton swabbed with compassion salve.  If given the option, I'll take toot and poop talk any day.

As Sully ran off, fully and happily on to the next thing, my heart and mind lingered.  That sugary voice, caramelized.


  1. Sounds like a perfect answer! Lots of times, I feel we adults are more sensitive and frightened about the topic of death then kids are.

  2. Perfect answer. We haven't had that conversation yet, except when it comes to animals (since we're hunters). So I don't know...maybe seeing death makes it less scary? Or maybe she just hasn't processed it yet.

  3. You rocked your answer! He probably really didn't want to discuss this at length, something he probably heard someone talking about. I'm sure his curious mind was wondering, and you gave him an answer, with an opportunity to talk/queation. He knows that he can ask you anything and that you'll tell him the truth. Great job! XO!!L

  4. oh, my heart! yes, I would much rather talk about farts and poop. I think you handled it just right - with honesty.

  5. My Four -year-old has asked lots of those questions in the last year. I ask my girls to look around at the leaves and flowers and notice that everything blooms and eventually fades away. Keeping it connected to nature seems helpful for me and them. Of course, it's still always at least little unsettling to some degree.

    1. Aha! moment. This is wonderful advice that would click for my kiddos. Thanks, C! xo

  6. you're awesome. i think your intuition took over before your mind could think about what to say, and that's a good thing. even though his question was a big one, he doesn't understand it the way your more worldly mind does. thankfully, he is still untouched by a lot of the lessons and experiences you have had to go through in your life. oh the beauty of it all.