This afternoon Sam and I had to have a conversation that I hadn't planned on having until well after Christmas. However when you are talking to doctors, family and friends it is hard to keep it quiet. I have a keenly observant and switched on little boy and there is no pulling the wool over his eyes. I pray with all of my heart you never have to have conversations like the one following with your child.
What do you mean I will have a operation?
(Drawing him into my arms)
Dr Gooi needs to have a closer look at your heart. They will put something in there to have a look around a bit.
No... (Pulling away) it will hurt. Will it be pointy? Will it be pointy? No (His bottom lip drops and he fold his arms, brow furrowed)
Silent my mouth pulls into a firm line and I breathe in.
Is it like blood testers? Blood testers are pointy.
(Sam has regular finger pricks to check his INR and occasional venous blood tests as well)
Well, do you know what Sam they have cream now that you put on your skin and it makes your skin go to sleep? Then you don't feel the pointy things anymore.
(He whirls around smiling.)
That's great! That's great! That means I will have my eyes open like this and be brave. It won't hurt then.
Yep, you will be able to watch and you won't even feel it. Do you know what they call the cream Sam? (Hugging him again)
Yeah, I wonder if I put it all over my body would I turn into an angel?
Mum, your silly, we not angels.
Yeah OK, but it's good news right?
Yep, I think.
(He falls silent and is thinking about it all. )
I guess if they need to look, it's OK. I don't want to but.
I know honey.... I know. Well we don't have to worry about all of this until after Christmas anyway OK.
Ok Mum, not until I get presents. I'm gonna get....
And so the conversation continued.
So now he knows and I am sure there will be many more questions. So different from when he was little and I was his voice. Sam has his own voice now and he is not afraid to use it. Pity help them if they forget to use angel cream.
I remember watching other families in the heart ward with their children the same age as Sam is now. I remember thinking how much more difficult it would be. I did not have the heart to tell him about any more than the catheter. Instead I will focus on the significant things in our life, like making this Christmas amazing. I will make my children delightful treats for afternoon tea, take them swimming and enjoy our everyday activities. And when the time comes we will deal with what is before us. God cannot, and is not asking more of me than that. I have to trust that He will prepare all of our hearts.