I don’t know what it is about kindergarten, but when Joshua was in it, he became really worried and obsessed with the concept of dying. It was not so much fun, answering all those questions and trying to give him reassurances.
So a couple weeks ago when Sophie, who is now (coincidentally?!) in kindergarten, asked me, “Mom, why do people die?” I was afraid I was in for another few months of fears and explanations.
“Well, honey, at some point our bodies get too old and they just don’t work any more,” I said. (Good one, right? Clearly I am a genius mom.)
That seemed to satisfy her curiosity for the moment, but clearly she kept thinking about it. Because the next morning at 6:30 after Bobby woke the kids for school, when they both crawled in bed with me for a minute or two like they do each morning, Sophie immediately said, “Mom? How old is Grandma Burns (my and Emily’s grandma)?”
“She’s 87,” I answered sleepily.
Sophie sat straight up and said in yelled in a voice that was not even kind of sleepy, “WOW! She’s ALMOST DEAD!!!”
I clapped my hand over my mouth to hold in my laughter and horror. Then when I had composed myself, I answered, “Well not really honey, it’s just that she’s lived a long time and she probably has less time to live than most of us.” (Really, it was SIX-THIRTY a.m. I am not at my sharpest!)
“Yeah,” she answered matter-of-factly. “Probably like three years, or two, or one.”
So there ya go folks. Sophie knows the number of your days. At least if you’re an octogenarian. Sheesh!