Markus is processing a lot in his brain these days. We’ve had a few conversations in the last week that have made me stop and think.
M:Mommy, do you have a baby in your tummy again?
K: No sweetie, I don’t.
M: But you will again.
K: Well, I don’t know if I’ll have another baby.
M: Yeah, you will.
Then he jumped out of the van and ran inside.
Then there’s the conversation we had yesterday. I was getting things packed up for Markus, Wyatt, and Bailey to go camping with my parents.
M: Mommy, is Deacon coming too?
K: Well, he’s not going to the lake with you guys, but he needs to come along when I take you to Grandma and Grandpa’s. We can’t just leave him here – babies need to stay with their mommies.
M: Right, because he needs your milk…(thoughtful pause)…Does Grandma have breasts?
K: …Yes, Grandma has breasts.
M: So…could she feed Deacon?
K: Well, no. See, when a mommy gives birth and pushes a baby out, her body has special things called hormones that tell her breasts to make milk for the baby. Grandma hasn’t had a baby for a long time, so she doesn’t have any milk for babies.
M: Right, because you were her last baby. And now you are having babies. And if your last baby is a girl, then she can grow up and have babies too.
K: That’s right, but right now Deacon is our last baby.
M: Is he your last baby?
K: I don’t know. I don’t know if we will have more babies or not…do you think we should?
M: Yeah, because babies are lots of fun to have around. They’re fun to take care of.
Then he ran off to play, and I was left sitting on the stairs, stunned. Our conversation made me stop and wonder how much of what we teach our kids is caught, not taught. Markus is building his ideas about the value of family, and the blessing of children, and he’s doing it simply by observing what is happening around him. It makes me want to be so much more mindful of the things I do and say in my daily life, because it’s those things that have a lasting impression on my kids, and not the things I say when I’m in teacher-mode.