I'm afraid I inadvertently passed on my fear and sorrow over a little girl onto Eldest. They are the same age.
Last night, as I was tucking him into his top bunk,
So I explained to him that Grandma and my Sis might be taking him and his brothers to the lake. I went on to add that he needed to remember to be very careful in the water, to not go out too deep and to always pay attention. And I (mistakenly, I see that now) reminded him of what had happened with Baby at the lake a few weeks ago with Daddy. (Baby tripped and went under. Eldest happened to be standing right next to him when Hubby leaped into the water to pull him up, and later remarked that he thought Baby was "just playing and splashing.")
I started getting a little choked up when I said to him, "Mommy and Daddy would be very sad if something bad ever happened to you or your brothers." He solemnly shook his head, yes, that he understood.
About 1/2 hour later, as I was tucking Middle into his bottom bunk, Eldest was still awake.
He said to me, in a voice that made me crumble, "Mom, I just can't get to sleep. I keep thinking about D-R-O-W-N-I-N-G."
Yes, he spelled it. I guess because either it was too scary for him to say out loud or because he was protecting his brother Middle from hearing. Actually, it was probably for both those reasons.
If I could have melted into a big sopping puddle of tears, I would have right then.
Instead, I climbed up on Middle's bed so I could look Eldest in the eyes, rubbed his soft buzz cutt and said, "Momma didn't mean to scare you. You will never drown, bud. Now think of happy things: the Red Sox, our Cape vacation in a few weeks, when we went to Myrtle Beach, or when we went to Edaville. No more sad stuff, okay?"
Again, he solemnly shook his head yes, that he understood.
After more kisses and hugs and "talk about our day" with Middle, I exited their bedroom.
And then I cried.