Monday, November 17, 2008

do or die

Can I be with you until we both die?

She asks me this sometimes and I never know quite what to say. Do I tell the barren truth, I'm sorry baby but no, because (god willing please all divine beings in the universe let me die long before you for the love of all things holy let this be true) I will die before you one day.

Or do I deflect, yes baby, well, we don't have to worry about that yet but one day we'll both grow older and you'll understand a bit more about how we grow and die.

Or do I say the thing I really want to (and if I mean it enough can I will it so?) Yes, child. Yes. We shall live together forever and always walk towards the sun. The grass will feel sweet under our feet and we will drink from the coolest springs. We will dance in meadows filled with flowers and will sleep on beds of ferns and we will never stop holding hands never not ever not even once.

The truth hurts, sometimes far before it's due.







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30 comments:

Mayberry said...

I just posted this not half an hour ago. I went with the Big Lie, the promise that we'll be together always.

Maggie, Dammit said...

I struggle with this myself. I don't know what the answer is. But the last one sure sounds nice.

meno said...

But....you will be together forever, in some ways.

Arwen said...

I cop out and say 'I will stay with you for as long as we can stay together' - I promise nothing, let her know I am doing my best and don't lie.
And yes, one of my all time biggest anxieties is out living her because I just love my daughter so much I sometimes think my heart will explode.

Tabba said...

oh, isn't this one the hardest?

i take the "where do babies come from?" and the "why do boys have penis'?" over this one...hands down.

flutter said...

How about this:

We'll love each other forever?

Madge said...

eventually they stop asking that question, and then you know they understand, at least a little... it's bittersweet.

Deezee said...

how about, "these are the things we don't really know, but I believe we will be together forever."

oh, how our kiddies challenge us, eh?

mitzh said...

Awww, this made me teary-eyed.

I always tell my daughter that she lives in my heart and I live in hers and the love we have will be forever..

Mad said...

Miss M's on the death thing these days too. I wrote about it last week. It is hard to know what to say other than the middle option.

Omaha Mama said...

My B has asked me before if we could all die together, beautiful and morbid all at the same time. Before I could even answer, she was in tears, realizing that her dad and I would grow old before her. We always go with the answer about heaven. A promise that makes it okay. And then I hope that we'll all understand it more some day, because I still don't either.

QT said...

Oh M... Do you remember what you were told, jen? I just tried to remember what I was told, and can't, for the life of me.

Wish it was something close to your last paragraph, tho.

Expatriate Chef said...

I pray I will die old, die first and the Kiddo will outlive me by long. Anything else would kill me for sure.

Defiantmuse said...

oh boy, that made my heart hurt a bit. I don't really look forward to those questions. I think I will always straddle the line between being as honest as possible without crushing her innocence. But how to do it? I'm not sure.

Z said...

My granddaughter tells me that as she grows up and I get old, I'll get smaller like a baby and then she'll be able to look after me and carry me around. It's quite a comfort!

Blog Antagonist said...

SIGH...kids who think. They can really throw you for a loop.

Gwen said...

Can't you just offer her a princess dress? Distraction: works for us almost every time.

patches said...

She will always carry a part of you with her.

kgirl said...

... We will dance in meadows filled with flowers and will sleep on beds of ferns and we will never stop holding hands never not ever not even once.


Oh Jen, your words are so beautiful, and now I'm crying. Tell them to your daughter. Do you mind if I take them and tell them to mine?

motherbumper said...

Damn, my eyes are all leaky and it's your fault you wonderful wordsmith. The last one is the beautiful answer to a difficult question.

Magpie said...

How weird that you and Mayberry had virtually the same post today?

It is a hard hard question.

Mrs. Chicken said...

I'm a little vulnerable today, but Jen, this made me cry. The Poo asks me about death all the time, and the truth is very, very hard.

i love you, friend.

mamatulip said...

I made the mistake once of saying to Julia, rather flippantly, that everything that is living dies, eventually. BAD IDEA. Go with your heart.

cce said...

Oh man, I had this conversation with my G last year or so and I ached and smarted inside while I managed to blow some cheerful sunshine and rainbows her way. No point in telling a six year old that eventually the cruel fates will have their way and render you forever apart. The prospect of ever losing a child, the prospect of losing a parent...all of it's to hard to bear. You sone good, Jen.

painted maypole said...

you could just say "you'll be awfully sick of us by the time you're 13 or so, and when you're 18 you'll probably be begging to move out... so lets just enjoy living together while we can still stand each other, ok?"

but no, your post was much more lovely and heartbreaking.

carrie said...

Tough call - right up there with "you will live with mommy and daddy forever and we'll all sleep together (with your children, of course) in a gigantic bed.

I dunno.

hele said...

This made me cry.

Amanda said...

We'll be there, like the smell of our own days of back-to-school that visits each fall, we'll be there, in an unexpected, reassuring and potent way. I just know it.

Jenn said...

I've been tap-dancing around this with Big A for almost a year now...and I still don't know what to say.

Library Lady said...

I had a woman come into the library where I work and in the course of a conversation about losing loved ones and she said that her priest had said that when that happens, a piece of us goes with that person. But a piece of them stays with us as well, forever.
Unbeliever as I am, having lost my beloved mother-in-law this spring, I somehow know that this is true. And it's something I've passed on to my daughters.