Last week the stomach virus went through all three of us. When I told M it had finally gotten me during the night, she cried, “No, no mommy I’m so sorry I got you sick.” And then she burst into a more intense cry moving into hysterics. She was in the back seat. I had just picked her up from school, so I couldn’t hug her to calm her down. I told her that I was fine now and all good, but this didn’t seem to help calm her. She handed me a letter that she had written at school, Mommy, I hope you don’t get sick. I love you.
I thought to myself for a second why would she be so upset about a 24 hour bug? Could she be thinking I am going to die like her dad? So I asked, “Do you think I am going to get sick like your daddy?” She nodded her head up and down for yes and kept crying. I reassured her that my lungs were strong, and I was already better. That stopped the crying for a moment.
Then she starting crying again, “Either Ruby or I will get daddy’s lungs. One of us will die, and I don’t want us to die.” I knew she was tying this conversation to an earlier conversation about what they inherited from their dad. I told her that both of their lungs were strong, and they will be ok. “You couldn’t scream as loud as you can if you have bad lungs,” I said as a way to reassure her. She gave out a good scream with a smile that ended the conversation and the tears.