This post originally appeared on Cancer Owl.
What I think this comic does is present that ongoing truth about how much we can learn from children. As a therapist, I work with many different kids for a living, and there is much I take away from my interactions with them. Kids are just wide open to something different from them (most of the time), and somewhere along the line, we grow up and become more intolerant of things we don't understand. We can learn that openness from our kids.
Below is the story submission on Cancer Owl from my survivor friend, Mitch.
As the school year just ended for my kids, my third grader's class on one of the final days hosted an "Author's tea," wherein parents got to come to their child's classroom for an hour, be paired with a small group of the kids (including their own), and were treated to cookies and juice while the kids got to read stories they had written for the event. Having volunteered very frequently for the previous few years at his school, most of his former classmates already knew me and were excited to see me. What I didn't expect was one little girl noticing my ileostomy and urostomy bags poking out from under my shirt and asking what those were. Without missing a beat my son proudly proclaimed, "Those are his bags! They're awesome!"
Cue him telling them about how it means my farts "don't smell (untrue) and you can see them blowing up the bag like a balloon!" Mortified, my wife and I just stare for a moment, unsure of how to respond or address the topic... a slew of curious questions and a very few carefully chosen responses came out, explaining basically how one bag was for "number one" and the other was for "number two", and that I still go and empty them into the toilet... There were no looks of horror or disgust, just curious little faces who wanted to know more about them. I can only imagine what conversations the kids may have had at home later, but they got to learn about something and showed immediate acceptance and willingness to discuss a topic that I've seen far too many "adults" squeam over.