Opinions Are Like

…well, you fill in the blank with whatever witty saying you choose.

My friend (the one whose baby is in the PICU) called me at work this morning and asked me if I could meet her for breakfast, she needed to talk.  Well, sure I could because I’m that type of girl.  I grab my purse and head downstairs.  I said a little prayer on my way down the stairs – I try to do that anytime I think someone’s going to ask my opinion.  I try to give good, Godly advice.  Seriously.

Anyhoo, basically she was feeling bad about the decision she’d made to tell her older daughter (4 yrs old) that her baby sister was in the hospital.  For the last week or so she’d been telling the older girl that the baby was off visiting relatives.  Well, last night, she decided she was tired of lying, tired of evading her daughter’s questions and so, she told the girl the 4 year old version of the truth – her sister was sick, was in the hospital so that the doctors and nurses could help her feel better and that they were praying the baby would be home soon. 

 My friend’s older sister and mother do not agree with her decision.  And have made it very obvious through yelling, cursing, and sending text messages calling her “dumb” and “selfish” among other things.  She asked me if I thought she made the right decision, what did I think?

So I told her.  I told her that as parents we make the best decisions we know to make.  I told her that if she were comfortable with her decision then it was the right one.  That we can’t live our lives trying to guess and do what other people would have us do.  That her sister and mom (both of whom I love dearly) can postulate on what they would do all they want, but the reality is that she is the one with a daughter in the PICU and one at the house, not them.  I also told her that I happened to agree with the decision that she’d made, but that even if I didn’t I would still advise her to make her decisions based on what’s in her heart and live with the decisions she makes for herself and her girls.

What would you have done if you were in her situation?  Would you have told the four year old the truth?  Would you have concocted some sort of story as to where the baby was?  Enquiring mind wants to know.  Thanks!

**Thank you all for your prayers for Baby K.  Please don’t stop.  She seems to be doing well, they’re weaning her off anesthesia and her oxygen.  When I went to see her yesterday she opened her eyes for quite a while and is responding to voices.  So she’s doing much, much better.  God’s grace is sufficient.**

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6 thoughts on “Opinions Are Like

  1. I think your friend did what was best for her and her family. Lying for the sake of keeping the peace and ignorance can weigh on a person. So lying to a child despite having another child fighting for their life is hard and heartbreaking.

    If it were me, I would have told my child the truth and we would have a discussion about what could happen to the baby and what we could do to help (prayer). I think you can be honest with children without frightening them or being too graphic.

    I don’t think your friends’ family is very supportive. She did what was best for her family. I hope these selfish and self righteous people come to their senses, and support this mother and her young child.

    I hope that helps.

  2. In my opinion, the people who are being dumb and selfish are her family. How dare you bring extra stress on somebody already dealing with so much? I think she did the right thing, you don’t want to keep on with that kind of lie with your daughter, she deserves to know the truth.

  3. I tried to put myself in this situation and I really believe that I would have told her too.

    The little girl is four and I highly doubt she is just gonna up and stop answering questions. That’s what four year olds do. I’d rather spend my time answering questions about truth not fiction.

  4. I think I would have told the child. For me, lying to kids teaches them how to lie. But we all know I have an issue with being blunt, direct, honest, whatever you want to call it, I don’t sugarcoat anything for anyone.

    Kids know and understand WAY more than we give them credit for. I think sometimes (not necessarily in your friend’s situation), but sometimes people don’t tell kids the truth because they’re in denial themselves. They have to deal with the issue and don’t know how to frame it to the kid because it seems to big to them.

    I guess at the end of the day, you say, what would Jesus do. Jesus would tell the 4-year old and ask for that 4-year olds prayers for her little sister (I think).

  5. I think your friend’s family is being unfair, and certainly not helping matters by yelling at her about her decision. Wow.

    You know, when we found out I was pregnant we weren’t sure when to tell our oldest, who was 5. There is always a concern that you might miscarry, you know? But my husband said “We’re all in this together,” and what if I had lost the baby? We would have to explain to her why we were sad anyway. So we told her pretty much right away, and I have never regretted it. (Of course, easier in hindsight because the pregnancy went to term.) But then the baby was in the NICU for the first few days and we did have to explain that to her as well. She was upset, but so were we. We all talked about it together and I think if anything it brought us closer and made her feel an even stronger connection to the baby.

    Long story short, I support your friend’s decision.

  6. Thank you all for sharing. I enjoy reading everyone’s perspectives on the entries that I post. I think in this situation, the emotions of the family members got the best of them and they lashed out. I believe they had every right to disagree with my friend’s decision, but they certainly could’ve voiced it in a more supportive, sensitive manner. Reminds me of what my grandmother always, always told us “it is not what you say, it is how you say it.”

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