Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Actual Conversation

Oh, the realities of life. And death

Here is the Matron with 11 children in her house. School was cancelled on Monday and Tuesday due to the weekend blizzard. Guess who opened the doors to the minions? She is a little stir crazy and wildly happy that school is back on for all tomorrow.

Scarlett: "Maybe there won't be school again tomorrow!!!"

Matron (snappish): "It doesn't matter. I'm dropping you at the door at 8 am and returning at 3:30. I don't care what happens in the interim. There's a coffee shop across the alley if the building is closed."

Scarlett: "Mom! You're scaring me!"

Uh, yes. Everybody's scared--including your mother. Four snowbound days are three days too many.

In the midst of the mayhem -- which includes the sixty-five pound bloodhound puppy's newfound ability to stand on the five feet of snow and simply graze on over the fence to run wild for blocks, the fray of children, the need of neighbors for shoveling and food, and the Christmas tree that keeps falling over -- Merrick came to the Matron with this. And really -- there was mayhem. Dog lost, almost a dozen children to feed, nearly 300 assignments to grade (so not done).

Merrick: "Mama? Will I die? If I die, will I nevew have my thoughts again? I'm wowwied about my thoughts. And my bwain."

Friends, the Matron - I -- wanted to sit down and weep. There was terror on his face. He had three friends in the house and a lot of action, and this was on his mind.

Matron: "Merrick, everything dies. Plants die, people die, bugs die, grass dies, flowers die. Everything alive dies."

And she's really sorry.

Merrick: "But what happens to my thoughts when I die? Will they go with me? I can't think of not being with my bwain."

And the Matron pulled this seven-year old onto the couch beside her, next to a blazing fire and house full of children and great good human energy, and had a long, loving --and optimistic -- talk about the unknown. She spoke of reborn spirits (remember, she's a Buddhist so hopefully she'll return as the first female president), but she didn't lie or revert to religious views which are foreign to this child.

Merrick: "Dying is pwetty scawy. Can I love up evewybody wight now to make up for the west of the univewse?"

Darling, darling child. She never wants to part from you. Please, love us up. And thank you, Merrick, for making tomorrow a different sort of day. She plans to consider eternity every day for the rest of her life.


Anonymous said...

He's a deep thinker, your Merrick. He might just change the world. In fact, I think he's already doing it.

Anonymous said...

It's times like this, and the ones that happen at my house, that make me weep for the children who do not have anyone to hold them close while they struggle with such strong emotions, the kids who have no hope of putting into words the enormity of what is spinning in their heads.

And like you I take a deep breath and do my darndest to make sense of it for him and me.

Anonymous said...

What an articulate child.

Gail said...

Out of the mouths of babes!

Deb said...

Thank goodness you are recording all these sayings on your blog for posterity. We had a Kitchen Journal that sat on the radiator cover in the kitchen (of course!) and anyone could write in it whenever they wanted...even guests! This journal has some of the best records of the wonderful things kids say that you don't every want to forget. If blogs were around back when my kids were little, I would have totally been into this form of record keeping.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

HUGE questions...and of course they come in the midst of chaos. Did you tell him that his soul lives on? That's what I tell my sons--we're like candy bars. The wrapper? That's our bodies, the good stuff inside? That's our souls.

SUEB0B said...

Merrick. He slays me.

Suburban Correspondent said...

Snowing, and there are 7 children in my basement right now. Please, please let them stay there.

God bless Merrick - and I don't think you have to revert to "foreign" religious views to tell him honestly that there is good evidence that this life here is just part of a bigger picture which we cannot even begin to imagine. Tell him I'm sure of it. Have you ever read "Expecting Adam" yourself? So, so cool...

Oh, and I so love his worrying about his "thoughts" - cogito, ergo sum. He's a little philosopher!

Rima said...

Oh, what a sweet, sweet boy!