Why we hop
“Are you going to die?” Charlie Brown asked.
“Good grief!” Linus shouted. “What kind of a question is that!”
I read Why, Charlie Brown, Why? to the students of Brooksfield this week. Four readings to each of the four different classes. And each time I got to that part, I looked up to see how the little faces in front of me would react to that one line.
My oldest is four and this territory of heavier topics in books is still somewhat new to me. I’m still the mom who skips over the piece about death in books when it isn’t relevant to the story. I’m still the mom who ducks out to buy a new fish when the old one dies. I’m still the mom who can’t quite find the words to talk about the big, scary topics.
But when reading this book to our children this week, I couldn’t skip Charlie Brown’s question. Just as I couldn’t skip the part where Janice, a little blonde girl, sits in a hospital bed and talks with Charlie Brown and Linus about the IV in her arm and chemotherapy and her bone marrow test and leukemia. I couldn’t skip the part where Janice returns to school with no hair, still in the grasps of treatment, and gets made fun of by a classmate.
I went to Brooksfield that morning to provide some context for next week’s Hopathon. And those pieces of the story were relevant and incredibly important.
The children reacted in different ways to each of the story’s tough parts. Some eyes got very big and wide. Some asked questions. Many cheered right along Linus when Janice returns at the end of the book, her lovely blonde locks once again covering her head.
And we talked about Leukemia. And chemotherapy. How it can be scary and sad. But that there is medicine that can help and kids, just like Janice can get better. We talked about how there are organizations like the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society who are working so hard to help. And we can help too.
On Wednesday 2/12, at 9:10 in the Parish Hall, Brooksfield will hold it’s annual Hopathon. For 2 minutes, the kids will hop to raise awareness and money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Support your children as they hop. Sponsor their couple of minutes of hopping and stop by just after carpool to show your support.