Let’s Bury This Conversation

“Mom, when I turn 34-years-old, I’m going to be a potion tester,” says TheLittlePrince. “How old will you be when I’m 34?”

I’d just picked up TheLittlePrince from preschool. Should I reply that it’s too early to math today? “60,” I reply.

“Wow, you’re gonna be a little old. You’ll probably get married,” he laments.

I raise an eyebrow, “I’m already married! To your dad!”

“Then why do you have brown hair?!” he cries in protest.

Cue double raised eyebrow. We have gone from a strange conversation to a downright nonsensical. “TheLittlePrince, my hair is blond!

I can practically see his shocked expression as he wails, “But I have blond hair! Am I gonna get married?!”

Then it hits me. “TheLittlePrince, are you saying buried?

“What’s buried?”

Now I’ve opened a can of worms. Should’ve stayed with married.

“It what we do with people after they’ve died. We put them in the ground,” I explain for lack of a better answer. I haven’t even drank my full cup of coffee yet. It’s too early for life and death questions.

“Why?”

No, we are not going into a conversation regarding corpse decay. I’m beginning to feel like I just picked up Tim Burton from preschool instead of my own kid. “It’s just what we do. Remember when Papaw S died?” I ask, thinking of my grandfather who passed away last year.

“He died?!” cries TheLittlePrince incredulously.

I should probably feel ashamed that I’ve apparently just broken the tragic news of his great-grandfather’s death to my 5-year-old, but all I can think to do is chuckle awkwardly and say, “Where did you think he’s been all this time?” (I know, this makes me a bad parent. I’m gonna own that.)

TheLittlePrince hesitates briefly then says, “Maybe at the doctor’s office?”

That’s a long doctor’s visit. I don’t reply hoping he’ll let it go at that, but just when I think I’m going to get off the hook with this conversation…

“Do you stay dead?” he wonders.

“Yes,” I say promptly, “once you’re dead, you’re dead forever.” Unless you’re a zombie. Shudder. Not going into that one!

TheLittlePrince thinks for a moment, “Will I be dead forever?”

I really hate where this conversation is going, and I sure wish it would die! “Yes,” I feel like I can’t lie, but then I do, “But you have to be really old to die. You have to be 100.” And I’m thinking, Please don’t ask me how old Papaw S was when he died.

“100?! What about when I’m 200?!”

“Well,” I pause, “Then you’ll be a very lucky guy to live to 200.”

Somehow, that crappy answer seems to appease him. Conversation over.

“Hey, Mom!” TheLittlePrince picks up a hat. “I’m going to pretend like this thing is 100 years old, and I’m the guy who’s going to bury it!”

Not sure if I should be disturbed, but hey, Tim Burton seems to have done well for himself.

 

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