My daughter and my middle son were eating dinner last night and out of the blue my son asked me “mom if you die, who would get us?” They both stopped eating and looked at me. I smiled because I knew the answer to that question!!!
The reason I knew was that a few years ago I went to Fiji. A beautiful place and the people were just beautiful, that is a book in itself. The preparation to go there for 10 days was quite intense. My mother flew down from Mississippi, to stay with my kids while I was gone, I had two of my coworkers come and pick them up and every morning and take them to school. Their father brought them home from school every day. My sister came and spent the long weekend to help my mother with the children. One of my poetic-girlfriends came over and took them where they needed to go. My sister does not drive and my mother was afraid to drive in California. My poetic-girlfried drove my van and took them to the store, church or wherever they needed to go.
The last thing I did before leaving was to make sure my children would be well taken care of if something happened to me while I was away.
I spoke with my brother and my diva girlfriend to ask if they would raise my children if something happened to me. My diva friend is to get them immediately upon notification and to keep them and make sure all of their needs were met until my brother could arrange for them to come and live with he, his wife and my nephews in Georgia. They both agreed. I put this all in writing, names and addresses and phone numbers, account numbers, where my money is located, insurance information, the van information, investments that I have and college savings accounts as well as information about their father who insists and stated to the court that he does not have a home where his children can live – I had this all notarized. It is official. I guess you can call it my will. (smile) I sent copies to both of my friend and my brother, and kept the original.
So, when my son asked me what would happen to them if I died, I responded without blinking my eye or hemming and hawwing I said, well Auntie would come and get you and you would go and stay with her until Uncle could make arrangements to come and get you. He then asked “would we live in Georgia” and I said “yes”. And he said oh, ok. My daughter and he looked as if that was all they needed to hear and went back to eating their dinner.
I see so many parents over explain and talk endlessly to their children about too much. My parenting; albeit a lot of trial and error and error and learning, has taught me to just answer the question asked and be quiet. In retiring at 55, I believe perhaps writing about my children and what I learn may be something to consider. hmmm?
One of my coworkers who is one of the land negotiators at our office told me something years ago, and I believe it and practice it and have never forgotten it. She said that when in negotiations for land, the person who talks last loses. Say what you have to say and be quiet.
Yolande Barial, A writer