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A Daughter’s Journey: Kid Talk

A Daughter's Journey Blog Series

 

 

 

 

 

I pride myself on being a strong, independent person, but I am flappable. I’ve been known to lose my cool—yell, swear, and occasionally throw things—but what stuns my kids the most is when I cry.

As an airline pilot, my husband is on the road several days a week, and raising our kids those days falls solely to me. It can be hard to be the only adult in the house, but it’s a role I’ve grown into. I make decisions and solve problems with the frequency and ease of a Fortune 500 CEO.

Unfortunately, I’m useless when the garbage disposal detaches from underneath the sink or the change-oil light starts blinking on the car dash. On those occasions, I wait for the cavalry.

But some things can’t wait. Once, on a day when my dad was in the hospital, and my husband was out of town, and the dinner I was making was a disaster, and the kids were arguing, my spirit crumpled. I turned my back to the kids and began to cry.

I talk to my kids, in age-appropriate ways, about many things that are beyond their years: gay marriage, the war in Syria, NCAA brackets. I distinguish fact from my opinion and hope I am teaching them to think critically for themselves about this world.

But how do I talk to them about dread? How do I tell them I’m worried grandpa’s going to die soon? Is it better to prep them for the inevitable or let it hit them all at once? Just like you can never truly remember a color, you can’t imagine what heartache will feel like.

BrightStar Care is honored to feature Leah’s unique story, an experience shared by many adult children as their parents grow older and caregiving roles begin to reverse. Follow Leah’s journey here.

All names, including the author’s, have been changed to protect identities, and Leah has no affiliation with BrightStar Care.

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