A Dead Plant is a Reminder

Today, I found my almost-6-year-old son on this ledge worriedly kneeling over a plant.  He turned to me and pointed at it.

“What happened?” He asked.

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“It’s dead. Daddy killed it.”  I said.   I’m sorry Dad. It was a flippant response.  Dad  has an amazing green thumb. This spot has been a difficult gardening space and the plant has been dead for 6 months easily, probably longer.

I did not expect my son’s response.

Daire choked up and fought his tears from spilling over.  He wiped them away, trying not to let me see.

He has teared up like this before.  Recently, I described Mt St Helens eruption.  We watched a short video and his tears let loose as he learned 57 people died, all the animals gone and the trees completely blasted down. The story hurt him the way it hurt the earth.

It concerns me that he doesn’t want me to see the tears.  I gave him a kiss and told him that I loved how much he cares.  He leaned over and hugged me, a wonderful vulnerable moment shared openly.

“Do you know what happens when we die?”  I asked.

He shook his head.

“We become a part of the world around us.  When I die I will become a part of you, and Dana and your favorite places on the earth.”

He nodded, thinking.

“I don’t think it happens that way.”  He said finally.

“What happens?”

“I think we get old and then we die, then we are born again.”  He nodded firmly, very confident.

“Yes. I believe that happens too. We become new beings.”  I paused.  “Is that sad or scary?”

He was still fighting his tears but he said “No.”  Nothing more.

But it is change. Monumental, unstoppable, life-altering change.

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