One night I was scratching Kaleb’s back while he was laying in bed to go to sleep and he asked me: “What if you die while we’re still kids?”
That’s really not a question a seven-year-old should be asking. And, it’s certainly not something a seven-year-old should be worrying about.
Of course it’s a concern I have. And, I’ve written about it on this blog on several occasions.
It sometimes seems that I’m growing older faster than they’re growing up!
Think about it. The kids have had two substantially traumatic experiences in their lives. They have lost parents two times. Once is more than enough, but two times?
So, it’s certainly reasonable that Kaleb would worry about something that most children probably never even think about.
Their worlds will always be in a different orbit from that of other kids. And, it’s an orbit that unfortunately often collides with the worlds of other kids.
Then, are my children doomed to an unhappy life? Certainly not! Hopefully, they will have a happy childhood filled with lots of good experiences and opportunities. Probably even more and better than I was able to provide for my grown children.
But, these traumatic experiences not only impact their childhood, they can impact their adult lives.
No, I’m not being melodramatic…it’s science!
Using data collected from over 17,000 participants, the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study suggests that certain experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death as well as poor quality of life in the United States.
Some of the worst health and social problems in our nation can arise as a consequence of adverse childhood experiences. In other words, childhood trauma can lead to poor physical and mental health well into adulthood. (Read about the ACE Study at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/acestudy/ ).
So, give your kids an extra hug today. And, make their childhood a happy one!