Driving to a birthday party the other day, just me and the kiddos, I was faced with the possibility of a future without me. As you may suspect, the world will keep on spinning.
Sophie: Mom, I dropped that thingie! Can I take off my seat belt to get it?
Me: Nope. That's not safe.
Sophie: But you do it sometimes!
(She's right. I have, at times, been known to take off my seat belt in order to contort my body such that I can retrieve a sippy cup or remove a peanut from someone's nose with my tweezers. But ONLY on really long road trips when pulling over is seen as failure, and ONLY -- well, USUALLY -- when Frank is driving.)
Me: Yes. I have taken off my seat belt before, but only when I'm trying to help you guys. I'll sacrifice myself, but not you guys. (Jewish guilt? We're not even Jewish...)
Sophie: What's sacrifice?
Me: Well, it means that sometimes I might do dangerous stuff, but I'm a mom. I don't want you guys to do that dangerous stuff yet because you might get hurt. Really, really hurt.
Sophie: Like, we could die?
Me: (debating the seriousness of seat belt safety v. freaking out my kids...) Yes. Sometimes when people don't wear their seat belts and then they have an accident, they could die.
Five seconds of silence.
Sophie: And then, if you died, Dad would marry someone else, right?
Me: (Why didn't I take off MY seat belt and just hand her back that thingie?!?!) Um, I guess. Do you think Dad should get married to someone else if I die?
Sophie: That's what your dad did, right? When Nana Jane died?
(Another aside: my dad divorced my mom when I was two. Nana Jane died when I was 36. Many amazing women have mothered me in addition to my mom, but that branch of the family tree is complicated to explain to a six-year-old.)
Me: Sort of. (This is often my answer to complicated issues. That, or "I'm not sure how that works.")
Sophie: Well, I think Dad should get married to someone else if you die.
Sophie: Because then I could be the FLOWER GIRL!!!!!!!
One last aside: I hope she barfs all over the new bride. (See previous status updates about Sophie's flower girl performance at my brother's wedding.)