This post was written in July of 2006 about Kristyn. I'm happy to say that over a year later, even though she's been told, that I can still describe most of her as "not ready yet".
Kristyn was sick last week. For two days she spent most of the daytime hours in our bed watching TV and sleeping. I went in one afternoon and her almost ten year old brow was a little sweaty, so her hair was off her face. In one fleeting moment, I saw her as an infant again. The lighting outside and the heat from the windows reminded me of her first summer. When she and I were alone all day long in that blazing hot condo on Hunt Club Road. We used to nap together during those days. We'd snuggle into bed and sweat our way into a hazy sleep.
I couldn't resist getting into bed with her so I snuggled in and she woke up. We lay there for a bit and I was stunned that her feet were nipping at my ankles. What happened to the days when her chubby little feet poked me in the stomach?
"You're so grown up now, baby." I said. "I can't believe how big you've gotten. We used to sleep like this all the time and your feet barely reached my tummy."
"We used to nap together?" She said
"Oh yeah. It was my favourite part of the day."
"We have a picture somewhere of Erin and Daddy napping. Remember that? I think Erin was sick and so was Daddy."
I thought about it for a second and remembered the photo she was talking about.
"Oh right. Erin was sick, but Daddy was sleeping because he had just had the vasectomy."
The words came out before I had a chance to think about them. To process that Kristyn had no idea what a vasectomy was!
"What's that?" Of course she asked.
"Well, it's a procedure, kind of like surgery, to make sure that we don't have anymore babies." I was honest. Lying about stuff like that is not going to get us anywhere.
"But Mommy, how does Daddy having something done make you not have anymore babies?"
Then I ran into the kitchen to get a paper bag and a shot of vodka.
"Because Daddy is the one who makes Mommy pregnant."
"How? You mean through sex?" She sort of stumbled on the word sex, like she wasn't sure if it was a bad word or not.
"Yes. Do you know what sex is?"
She thought again, I could tell she wasn't anymore sure if we should go there than I was.
When she finally spoke she said "Sort of."
"Okay. Do you want me to tell you all about it?"
I could see the wheels spinning in her head. I resigned myself right there to be ready to tell her. Not to fumble. Not to seem unsure. To be factual and honest.
The look was there again. She was an infant. Her sweet face very curious, as always. She's hungry for information, but she's not in a hurry. She is patient and knows that sometimes you have to take it slow. She gets that from her father. If it was me, or Erin or Meghan, we would be jumping on the bed yelling "Tell me. Tell me!"
I think she decided she knew enough for now. That she wasn't quite ready to hear this and go beyond a point where she couldn't unlearn it. To her, knowing everything would change her life forever and for now, she wanted to remain a kid.
So she looked at me and said, very quietly, "No. Not yet."
So yeah. One day. But not yet. I'm cool with that.