At some point in their lives, I have told both girls I will never lie to them. I will answer their questions and expect the same in return. The 'I will not lie to you' has opened a line of communication that I can only pray continues well into their adulthood. The 'I will not lie' has also forced some serious conversations in this home. (puberty, death, homelessness, divorce, religion, poverty, etc.)
A few years ago, E1 has asked why we named her what we did and why do she and E2 have "E names." E1 learned I was pregnant, got very sick, the baby died, and she and E2 are named for their brother. Of course, I did not explain Leukemia, umbilical cord accident, chemo passing the placenta therefore we need to adopt, etc BUT I gave her enough information for her to know the truth. She was 5 at the time and what I gave her was honest and age appropriate.
Out of nowhere E1 asked me tonight, "Mom, what disease did you have when the baby died? Does it kill people?"
I explained the words Leukemia and cancer. I explained aggressive versus slow growing. I explained "catching it early." I explained that yes, people die from cancer. E1 listened and asked a few follow up questions and then she said I was lucky and she was lucky to have me as her mom.
At this point I am crying and explained how my being pregnant and the baby dying had a happy ending. E1 responded, "Yes. Since my brother died you could be alive." I then told E1 how her middle name was the last name of my oncologist. With a HUGE smile she said, "So I am named for the two people that made you healthy."
Yes baby, you are.
And then with true seven year old big sister attitude, she turned to E2 and said, "My name is more important than yours because I am the first born. You only have our brother. I got the doctor too!"
When she is older I will have to explain when it is a appropriate to be a bitch.
For now, I will let her have this moment because honestly, it is beautiful.