Bedtime Cheer: Discussions of Aging and Death

I tucked Tiller in the other night, then went into tuck Rollie in. He was reading a book, with it propped on his legs, and with a pillow behind his head.
“Night baby,” i said.
“Night, mama.”
I kissed him on the head and got a little choked up, thinking about putting him down as a baby, and how much he has grown. Rollie noticed my tears.
“Mama, why are you crying?”
“Because I am so proud of the wonderful little boy you are growing up to be. They are happy tears.”
Rollie made a face that told me that he was a bit skeptical about “happy tears.”
“Mama,” he said, “Don’t worry. I am not going to die for a long time.”

There is something about hearing my child talk about his own death that just chills me to the bone, but I don’t let them see that.
“I know that baby. Most children end up living long lives.” I’m not going to totally shield them from the harsh realities of life, either.
I kissed him again, and gave him a hug an walked towards his door.
“Mama?”
“Yes, Rollie. . .” I turned towards him, expecting the usual, “i need a glass of water/potty/medicine” stalling tactics.
“Mama, one day i will have kids and you will be a grandma.”

Boy, kid, you really know how to cheer a girl up at bedtime.

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3 comments

  • I wish I could remember this story better, but anyways, one time Denise was in the car with one of her friends and the friend’s daughter Lauren was in the back seat.

    Lauren asks if Denise has any kids, Denise says no. Lauren then tells Denise that when she grows up and gets married, she will bring her kids to see Denise. “Thank you, Lauren, that’s very sweet,” replies Denise.

    After a pause, Lauren adds, “I sure hope you’re not dead by then!”

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