Friday, September 09, 2005

Guiding the Wee One Through Life's Grocery Store

Last night I was lying down with my son, aimlessly chitchatting with him before bedtime, as is our custom. We've been doing some version of this since he was born, from that first night when I placed him in his cradle and then checked his lightly rising and falling chest about 4,801 times before just picking him up and placing him next to me on my bed, where I curled myself around him in case he miraculously learned how to roll over at two days of age. His dad had already moved into the second bedroom, and in the early days my son and I had many nightly "conversations" about love, poop, little dreams and the elusive power of baby giggles.

So last night my son said to me, "Mommy, when you and Daddy get really old and die, who's going to be my mommy and daddy?"

"Hmm," I stalled, not wanting to keep him on the topic of death for too long, not wanting to scare him...or myself. "You know, you're going to grow up to be a big man and you'll know how to do everything all by yourself."

"I will?"

"Yes. You'll know how to drive a car, and go grocery shopping all by yourself, and cook food, and you're going to buy a house," I said.

"I'm going to buy a house?" he asked.

"Yes, and after you buy a house, do you know what you're going to do?"


"You're going to invite Mommy and Daddy over for dinner!" I said. "What do you think you'll fix for us when we come to your new house for dinner?"

"Oh, probably roast beef or chicken..." he said, although to my knowledge he's never tasted roast beef or even seen it.

"That sounds really nice," I said. "And what will you give us to drink?"

"Well, I think I'll fix you some milk or water or apple juice," he told me.

"That sounds great. What if I want a Diet Coke, though? Will you buy me one?" I asked.

"Sure, Mommy," he said, "but you'll have to show me where the Diet Coke aisle is at the store."

You bet I will, kiddo. You bet.