Sunday, May 25, 2014

Dinner Conversations with an Emotionally Gifted Child

Kids get it.  There is no doubt about it.  So I have to give a little background before we get to today's dinner conversation.  So about a year ago, my brother divorced.  And I didn't realize it at the time, but it was the first couple that our family was really close to that divorced.  It was odd to me that for months, Olivia never mentioned a thing.  Never asked questions, like why is my cousins mom never here, or why don't they live together.  Finally, after about 8 months, she asked if her aunt was mad at us, or why she never came around anymore.  It caught me completely off guard, so I just told her, unfortunately they both decided they couldn't be married anymore.  She asked why her aunt didn't want to see her anymore or why we couldn't visit with her.  Umm, well, she's not mad at us, it's just very difficult because it was a very sad decision and everyone needed their time.  So it was left at that and she has never brought it back up until tonight.

So here we are tonight, having dinner at a local restaurant and they are playing some kind of rodeo championship.  Liv has never been to a rodeo or seen anything so silly in her opinion.  She's watching and asking, "Why do those guys keep getting on the bulls?  Don't they know the bull will throw him off?"  So I try to explain the rodeo.  I try to explain that these people think that it's cool or brave to get on the bull and try and stay on for 8 seconds.  And she doesn't get it.  "But why is that cool?  The bull is trampling him and hitting him with his horns!"  It was getting kind of gory so I agreed.  It isn't really smart to do that.  She looked at Roger and said, "Daddy, promise me you will never do that!  I would be really sad if you ever did that."  He of course gladly obliged to never do that.  So we continued to talk about how it is really kind of "reckless" behavior because you aren't thinking about getting hurt or what can happen.  Then they showed a shot of one of the cowboy's family, a lady and baby.  So seeing that we talked about how it's really kind of "dangerous" behavior because it can affect your whole family, if the daddy gets hurt and all.

So she's processing all of this very carefully, we continue to eat, and then minutes later, what would appear to be out of the blue she says, "And promise me that you will never get a divorce like my uncle and my aunt.  Promise that will never happen to our family!"  After a few seconds of shock we both of course promised and I'm trying to figure out where this came from and suddenly it was clear.  It wasn't out of the blue.  It completely went with what we were talking about.  Divorce can be very reckless and dangerous behavior which can affect all members of the family.  It made me sad to think that this has become something she might worry about.  How long has she been thinking about that?  I am grateful that she can articulate her feelings about it all and I hope God gives me the knowledge to know the right things to say to her, to reassure her and make her know she is safe and loved.