"Color camp" - he's the counselor, the tiles are the campers, Birch Bay, WA, August 2012
We were getting ready for the third day of kindergarten. I was in the kitchen, working on my morning checklist.
Lunch - packed.
Backpack - ready.
Bike helmets - in bike trailer.
My breakfast - in process...
Elan was munching on a bowl of Os while jumping on the couch when suddenly he announced, "I'm afraid of dying."
I finished pouring the milk into my cereal while wondering what kind of response I should have to this question. Here's what I came up with: "Oh?"
Then he followed it up with, "Is God real?"
It was a one-two punch, all before my morning coffee.
"I don't know," I said. "What do you think?"
Now he was standing on the couch, one of his favorite positions.
"I think he is, because he's in this book." He held up a copy of The Ziz and the Hanukkah Miracle, a book that recently landed in our mailbox courtesy of the PJ Library. By the way, everytime we get another (free!) Jewish-themed book from the PJ Library I always take a moment to be impressed at how organized we Jews are. My library of Jewish children's books would probably number about 1 book if it were up to me to stock it.
I thought about asking my giant-eyed child whether he thought the Ziz - an enormous yellow bird who, in the course of the book, ropes the moon and tries to tug it down from the sky - is also real. But I didn't want to shut down his train of thought. Elan's not the kind of child who constantly busts out questions and observations about The Big Things in life.
"If he is real, when I die, I'll ask him for a new life," he said.
I put my cereal bowl down on the table and sat next to him on the couch.
"I think that's a nice idea," I said.
"You're going to die before me, right, Mama?"
I made reassuring noises.
"But you're not going to die until I'm a grown-up," he declared.
More reassuring noises.
"Like 22 or 23 or 24 or - yeah! - 25. You won't die until I'm 25 years old."
And then, with my fate and his all settled, he went back to jumping on the couch.