Oh my fucking god.
It’s almost 10pm, Friday night, and it has been a horrible evening. I wrote about having the death conversation a while back. It happened again tonight, and it was much worse.
We were reading a bedtime story, David Gets in Trouble. It’s a series of books about this little fuckwad, David, who is always into some shit…breaking windows, forgetting his pants, you name it. Anyway, the last page is him getting tucked into bed and saying “I love you mom.”
I closed the book, and Connor said “Mom, are you going to die?”
“We all die someday, sweetheart. It’s part of the circle of life.”
Now I don’t normally speak like I’m in the middle of a Disney movie, but it’s the most kid-friendly explanation.
Then he asks,”Will you still be walking?”
“Will you be gone,” he asks.
“Yes baby, that’s what it means, but it won’t be for a very long time.”
He immediately breaks down into hysterical crying. He is sobbing, wailing, screeching “BUT I DON’T WANT YOU TO DIE!”
What did I do?
I hugged him, I comforted him, I told him he didn’t have to worry for a very long time. I even felt bad about that because, let’s face it, you just never know what could happen.
He started wailing for Daddy. I had to tell him Daddy was out running errands. He started wailing for Auntie. We went to Auntie’s room, and he ran in crying, yelling “Auntie, I don’t want my Mommy to die!”
She didn’t know what the fuck to think.
He finally calmed down enough to get into bed, where he sniffled and hiccupped while I rubbed his back.
Christ, now he’s traumatized. Where is the fucking handbook I was supposed to get when I brought this kid home?
And I’m traumatized too. I mean, should I have glossed over the question, lied, what? I gave a very casual, matter-of-fact answer so that it wouldn’t seem like a big deal, like some impending doom hanging over our heads. And we try to be the kind of parents that answer our kid’s questions honestly, in a way that’s appropriate for his age.
I just wasn’t prepared for this reaction. I think, maybe, this is the very first moment that he understood the idea of dying. I think maybe he just got what it means to be gone forever.
Now I feel bad for making him eat his peas. Who gives a shit about peas when I’m dying?
AND WHERE THE FUCK IS MY HUSBAND WHEN THIS SHIT COMES UP??? How is it that he is always gone when uncomfortable topics comes up?
Why couldn’t this have been another penis conversation?
It’s a damn good thing I still have a leftover bottle of wine from New Year’s Eve. Bottoms up!